Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar made a bold prediction about Shreyas Iyer’s international future after Mumbai batsman hammered a brilliant half-century in the 2nd ODI against West Indies, claiming he is an ideal man to solve the Men in Blue’s No.4 mystery in the limited-overs game.
On Sunday, 11th August, coming to bat at No.5, Shreyas hit a 68-ball 71, as well as, stitched 125 runs partnership for the fourth wicket with skipper Virat Kohli (120) to play a crucial role in India’s 59-run win over the West Indies in the second ODI at Port-of-Spain.
While the Indian team management has been backing Pant for the No.4 slot in the white-ball game, but Gavaskar believes that Iyer should be preferred over the young wicket-keeper for the still vacant slot.
Gavaskar told reporters on Monday, “If India gets to a great start with Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma batting for 40-45 overs, then Pant at No. 4. But if it’s a question of batting for 30-35 overs, then I think it should be Shreyas Iyer at No. 4 and Pant at No. 5.”
Praising his innings against West Indies, Indian batting great added: “He has grabbed his opportunity. He came at No. 5. He had plenty of overs. He had the company of his skipper, Virat Kohli. Nothing quite like it because the skipper takes the pressure off you. The best place to learn in cricket is the non-striker’s end. That’s what Shreyas Iyer was doing with Virat Kohli at the other end.”
Meanwhile, before the second ODI, the 24-year-old had played seven ODIs in which he scored 2 fifties with the highest score of 88, and later was in brilliant form in the IPL 2019, but still, he could not manage to cement his place in the national team for the World Cup, and Gavaskar believes that the right-hander should now be given a permanent slot in the Indian set-up.
He signed off by saying, “I think, if this doesn’t help him get a more permanent slot in the Indian middle-order, I don’t know what will. In the five matches, he played before this, he scored 2 fifties and hit the highest score of 88. He hadn’t done anything wrong to be left out of the 14 (15) (World Cup). But that’s in the past. Now he has come back and scored a 71 in his first opportunity. So, I think he will get a longer run.”
(With PTI Inputs)