Former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan said on Saturday (18th June) that Shreyas Iyer needs to work on his skills against playing fast bowling as he struggles against balls faster than 140 kph.
In the absence of Virat Kohli, Iyer has been batting at No.3 for India in T20Is, as it has paved the way for him to grab the opportunity. It’s fair to say that he has risen to the occasion several times and has delivered for his side.
In the series against Sri Lanka, earlier this year, he smashed three consecutive half-centuries, earning him the Player of the Series award as well. In the ongoing series against South Africa, Iyer has scored 94 runs in four matches. But his struggle against pace has looked quite evident.
Iyer has smashed the likes of the Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj with ease but has struggled when he faces the fast bowlers in Dwaine Pretorius and Anrich Nortje.
Speaking to Star Sports, Irfan Pathan remarked that Iyer struggles against pace and highlighted that the batter had a problem even in the IPL against deliveries over 140kph clicks.
“Yes obviously, he has struggled against pace, not only in this series but in quite a few matches (before that). Even in the IPL, we have seen that when it comes to fast bowlers who are bowling 140-plus, he has struggled a little. His strike rate has also gone down,” Irfan Pathan said.
Pathan highlighted that Iyer likes playing against spinners and he needs to improve facing the fast bowlers, especially bowlers who bowl more than 140 kph.
“He likes to play against spinners and if you are bowling less than 140 kph, he is very much comfortable. But the one area of his game he needs to improve is facing the fast bowlers, especially when the ball comes close to his shoulders,” he said.
Pathan backed Iyer and called him a brilliant batter who has grabbed his opportunities very well in recent times.
“As far as his first-class cricket is concerned, he averages over 50. He is a brilliant batter and he has performed really well. As much as he has got a chance of batting at No. 3, he has played his part. His numbers are really good, especially in the last few months, for India as well,” he said.
The five-match series between India and South Africa is leveled at 2-2. The series decider is slated to take place on Sunday (19th June) at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
Iyer will have to play a big role if the hosts have to fancy their chances of winning the series.
(Star Sports inputs)