Shreyas Iyer, on his debut, scored a century for India against the defending World Test Champions New Zealand, batting at No.5, when both the senior batters were sent back to the dug-out.
There shouldn’t be a shred of doubt, but Shreyas Iyer was never among the first XI preferences, hadn’t it been for KL Rahul’s injury. But, he made the most of the opportunity count. Hence, whether he retains his spot for the second Test next week when captain Virat Kohli returns to the team.
Shreyas Iyer May Have To Make Way For Rested Virat Kohli In The 2nd Test: VVS Laxman
Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman answered it, recalling the Karun Nair incident, admitting it to be an unwritten rule in this Indian side. Back in 2016, during a home series against England, Karun Nair had scored a phenomenal 303 but was rested for the next game to make way to Ajinkya Rahane, who had missed out that Test match.
VVS Laxman, in conversation with Star Sports during the lunch break on day 2 of the first Test in Kanpur, said that Shreyas Iyer will have to make way for Virat Kohli, who was not part of the Indian squad for the first Test, although he added that the youngster’s century will add pressure on struggling Ajinkya Rahane.
“Yes very very interesting but there is an unwritten rule in this Indian team which we had seen even when Karun Nair got a triple hundred and Ajinkya Rahane came back and unfortunately Nair had to miss out and Rahane got back to his original position. So that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”
“Iyer played because Kohli was not available for this Test match. But having said that there will be a lot of pressure on Ajinkya Rahane. The last couple of years hasn’t been great and he hasn’t been performing to his potential and the caliber he has got. But in the next game, Iyer will have to make way for Virat Kohli,” he said.
Shreyas Iyer scored 105 before being dismissed by Tim Southee. His runs came off 171 balls after smashing 2 sixes and 13 boundaries. Among those to score a century on Test debut for India are the likes of Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Prithvi Shaw.
Simon Doull Agreed With VVS Laxman And Doesn’t Think India Will Leave Either Cheteshwar Pujatra Or Ajinkya Rahane
Former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull too agreed with the veteran Indian saying that the management is now aware of his capabilities, although he still needs to work on a few things.
“I agree with VVS. You get an opportunity when someone misses out or is unavailable but they are still the incumbent. Your time will come and they have got options if they wanted to leave Pujara out and bat Shubman at No.3 if they want Rahane to lead. But don’t see that happening at this point in time. They know Iyer can play Test cricket and his capabilities. There are a couple of things to work on,” he added.
Shreyas Iyer has featured in 22 ODIs and 32 T20Is and averaged 42.78 and 27.61 in the two formats respectively before making his Test debut, 4 years after his limited-overs debut in 2017. The second Test begins on December 3 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Ajinkya Rahane has had a horror run with the bat over the last year, which has seen his average dip to under 40. In fact, he averages a mere 20.35 in 12 Tests in 2021, his lowest average in a year since debuting in 2013. Cheteshwar Pujara has done slightly better at 30.85 from the same number of games in 2021 but had a horrid time in 2020, averaging only 20.38 in 4 Tests.