India batter Shreyas Iyer, who is still recovering from his back injury, has been ruled out of the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia, starting on February 9 in Nagpur.
Iyer returned to Bengaluru on Wednesday to get fitness clearance from the National Cricket Academy (NCA) but he was told to spend more time in rehab, an ESPNcricinfo report said.
After playing the two-Test series in Bangladesh in December, the right-handed batter had a swelling in his lower back for which he was given an injection at the NCA.
He was originally expected to travel from Bengaluru to Nagpur and join the India squad for their preparatory camp for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy starting on February 2 but now will have to wait.
The report further said that Iyer's rehab is more of a precautionary step taken by the BCCI medical staff and he is now expected to join the India squad for the second Test, which starts in Delhi on February 17.
In Iyer's absence, the other middle-order batting contenders include Suryakumar Yadav, who is yet to make his Test debut, and possibly Shubman Gill in case India open the innings with Rohit Sharma and K.L. Rahul.
India's squad for the first Test against Australia: Rohit Sharma (capt), K.L. Rahul (vc), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, K.S. Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Suryakumar Yadav