Former Indian batter VVS Laxman said that Shreyas Iyer will have to make way for Virat Kohli for the second and final Test against New Zealand, starting on December 3 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
On his stunning debut for India in Test cricket, Iyer hit a century while batting at No.5 against the World Test Champions New Zealand to help Team India post 345 in the first innings of the ongoing first Test of the two-match Test series at Green Park in Kanpur.
The 26-year-old was given the opportunity because of KL Rahul's injury and Kohli’s absence, and he made the most of his chances, but it won’t give him a guarantee of a spot in India’s playing XI for the second Test against England, and Laxman doesn’t think he will retain his spot when captain Kohli returns to the side.
However, the former batter feels Iyer’s century will add pressure on struggling Ajinkya Rahane for the second Test. He also explained the scenario while citing the example of Karun Nair, who had scored a record 303 but was rested for the next game to make way for Rahane, who had missed that Test match and feels it is likely to happen with the right-hander.
Laxman said in a conversation with Star Sports: “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.”
He further added, “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.”
Meanwhile, former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull agreed with Laxman over Iyer’s chances of playing in the second Test, but said that the Indian team management is now aware of his capabilities.
Doull said during the conversation, “I agree with VVS. You get an opportunity when someone misses out or 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.”
He signed off by saying, “But don't see that happening at this point of time. They know Iyer can play Test cricket and his capabilities. There are a couple of things to work on.”