Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra feels it will be an uphill task for middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer to make the Indian side for the 2022 T20I World Cup slated later this year.

Shreyas Iyer scored 94 runs at a below-par average of 23.50 in the recently concluded T20I series against South Africa. Although he was at his attacking best against the spinners, he was found slightly wanting against the pacers, who kept him on a tight leash.

Shreyas Iyer did not set the stage on fire against the Proteas [P/C: BCCI]
Shreyas Iyer did not set the stage on fire against the Proteas [P/C: BCCI]

Aakash Chopra: Shreyas Iyer Will Struggle To Find A Place In India’s Crowded Top Order

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra ranked Ruturaj Gaikwad, Axar Patel, and Rishabh Pant as the top three players who failed to utilize their chances against the Proteas.

He picked Shreyas Iyer at No. 4, saying: “Last but not the least, my fourth player is Shreyas Iyer. If we talk about a pattern for Pant, there is a pattern here as well, it was there in the IPL also. Fast bowling will come, short-bowling will be done, he will try to hit shots by moving away but you are getting shocks, shocks can happen.”

KKR captain Shreyas Iyer. Photo- Twitter
KKR captain Shreyas Iyer. Photo- Twitter

The cricketer-turned-commentator feels the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper will struggle to find a place in Team India’s top order with the return of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, and Suryakumar Yadav.

Aakash Chopra reasoned: “Once again, you are looking at a very crowded top order. You have Rohit Sharma, Kohli, KL Rahul confirmed. That makes it your three and SKY (Suryakumar Yadav) is confirmed at No. 4. So where will Shreyas Iyer bat? He cannot bat in the top four and I have not even taken Ishan Kishan’s name as of now.”

Shreyas Iyer was Team India’s star performer in the T20I series against Sri Lanka before IPL 2022. However, the Mumbai batter’s problems against express pace came to the forefront during the IPL 2022 and the T20I series against South Africa, which might cost him his place in the side.

Shreyas Iyer began the SA T20Is with scores of 36 and 40 and had peeled off a hat-trick of half-centuries against Sri Lanka in February with scores of 57, 74, and 73, while remaining unbeaten during all three knocks. He managed 14 and 4 in the last two T20Is against South Africa.

Aakash Chopra: There’s No Sense In Batting Shreyas Iyer Down The Order

Aakash Chopra highlighted that Team India has better options to play the finisher’s role as well.

He explained: “So, if your number is not coming in these five as well, you will say that he cannot bat in the middle order. There is no sense in batting him down the order, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant are slightly better options, so you will go towards them.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The 44-year-old concluded by pointing out that the fast and bouncy pitches in Australia-the venue for the 2022 T20I World Cup are likely to accentuate Shreyas Iyer’s problems.

Aakash Chopra observed: “So who will get stuck – Shreyas Iyer. The thing which is not going in his favor is that, if it happens to an Indian batter, we feel that the World Cup is in Australia and how can you send a batter who is struggling against short bowling and which is not misplaced. Let’s be honest, the grounds will be big and bouncers will be bowled.”

Shreyas Iyer will not get to put forth his case in the T20I series against Ireland as he is part of the Indian Test side. He might not get a chance in the following T20I series against England as well, considering that all of India’s frontline players should be available for selection.

In the previous T20I series against Sri Lanka, Shreyas Iyer continued his red-hot form and scored his third consecutive half-century of the series. Shreyas Iyer hit 204 runs at a phenomenal strike rate of 174 through the series and claimed the Player of the Series trophy for those efforts.

He kicked off the series with an unbeaten knock of 57. In the 2nd T20I, he scored 74* off 44 as India chased down the big target of 184. In the 3rd T20I, the right-handed batsman breached the 50-run mark off 29 balls.