India emerged victoriously in the first T20I against New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland. Chasing a huge total, visitors were clinical throughout the chase as they cruised their way to a comfortable 6-wicket win. The highlight of the Indian chase was how the youngsters including the likes of KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, stepped up to the occasion and delivered for the team. Particularly Iyer, who came in at a critical stage in the game at No.4.
The Mumbaikar looked in immaculate touch and played as per the situation of the game. When the talks around India’s uncertain middle-order have continued to haunt the ‘Men in Blue’, Iyer has really grabbed his chances ever since he has come into the team.
Here, we take a look at 4 reasons that make Shreyas Iyer an ideal option to continue batting at this option for India in the limited-overs International:
1. Ability to rotate the strike
Any batsman who’s batting at No.4 must have the game to keep the scoreboard ticking with singles and doubles in his innings. Iyer has shown the skills to play fewer dot balls by scoring the majority of his runs by nudging balls for 1s and 2s.
The 25-year old batsman is quite a busy player who loves to rotate the strike even when boundaries are hard to come by. Iyer’s affinity in not bringing stagnancy during his stay at the crease makes him a preferred No.4 choice for India in both ODIs and T20Is.
2. Can play the glory shots
In a day and age when cricket has become a fast-paced game, the ability to possess a game that can be altered as per the match situation is a basic requirement for any middle-order batsman. Shreyas, who comes across as an instinctive batsman, plays most of his shots based on the merit of the ball.
In his short international career so far, Iyer has shown that he can even hit the glory shots and take the attack to the opposition. His records in T20Is playing for India, and even in the IPL, show great promise for him in continuing in this role even in the near future.
3. Calm under pressure
Batting at No.4 is quite a difficult task, especially in ODIs, where a batsman has to be prepared for almost any situation in the game. He might walk in early on a green top or might even be waiting in the sheds if the top-order does most of the job. The role of a middle-order batsman to play the anchor’s role and hold one end until the finishing line becomes largely important.
In one of the ODIs against West Indies, Iyer displayed his level of maturity in playing the waiting game after his team was in trouble after quick breakthroughs. He played a crucial knock along with Rishabh Pant and held his nerve to stay calm under pressure. If the right-handed batsman aims to prolong his career in the Indian middle-order, he will have to sharpen this facet of his game at the international level.
4. Can tackle both spin and pace very well
Shreyas Iyer has grown up playing on Indian pitches that assist spinners, and as a result, his ability to tackle spin is not at all surprising. However, he has been found susceptible to short-pitch fast bowling, but it is still early days in his career and will seek to improve even against the quality pace attack.
In the first T20I against Kiwis, Shreyas played both spin and pace well to a fine extent. These are signs of a good batsman who is eager to develop upon the loopholes in his game and improve it on a regular basis.