Shreyas Iyer is all set to be India's 303rd Test cricketer. Stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane confirmed a day before the Kanpur Test against New Zealand that Iyer will be debuting after KL Rahul was ruled out with a muscle strain in the thigh. Rahane said India hadn't yet decided a day out if Iyer would be the only debutant or if they might play an extra batter given India are without Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant.
India have preferred to go into home Tests with just the five specialist batters, which is probably why Hanuma Vihari was not selected in the squad and was sent to South Africa for the A tour, but Rahul's injury on the eve of the Test series has been a spanner in the works. Rahane said India would miss all the big names, but that the youngsters stepping in were good enough to compete at Test level.
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Shreyas IyerIndiaIndia vs New ZealandNew Zealand in IndiaICC World Test Championship
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo