With scores of 57*, 74*, and 73*, these runs came at a strike rate of 174 through the series, Shreyas Iyer demolished the Sri Lankan bowling attack. He claimed the Man of the Match award in the last two matches and the Man of the Series award too.
In other teams, even in the current competitive era of modern T20 batters, these numbers would have guaranteed a spot in the eleven for a batsman. However, not in the Indian team.
Shreyas Iyer, who missed the T20 World Cup squad last year, scored these runs at number three against Sri Lanka. However, in all likelihood, he will not only be shifted aside from that position but perhaps even be dropped when both Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav return to the eleven.
As India build towards the T20 World Cup, scheduled in Australia later in the year, here are the reasons why we believe Shreyas Iyer should be part of India’s eleven.
Shreyas Iyer is an excellent player of spin
Shreyas Iyer has at times been questioned about his play against hard lengths from bowlers at a high pace, and that could get him in trouble on Australian pitches. However, there is no denying in the fact that Iyer is one of the best players of spin in the Indian team.
As we saw in the T20 World Cup last year, spinners played an important role in the middle-overs, something that goes in favour of Iyer who likes to attack the tweakers and absolutely demolishes them. Iyer scores at a strike rate of 146 against spinners in T20Is.
Now a Test centurion as well, Shreyas Iyer has played 36 T20Is so far, which is a significant amount of games, but hasn’t had a fixed spot in the Indian team yet. He averages 36 at a strike rate of 141 in those games. What has been observed is his adaptability to different roles in the national T20 side.
That he has has success while shifting up and down the middle and lower-middle order is a testament to his versatility in taking up the role of an anchor or an aggressor. His strike rate in death overs in the IPL is 175, showing how he racks up the runs quickly in the final few overs.
Experience in responsibility
A facet that isn’t tangible and is difficult to quantify is the leadership qualities that Shreyas Iyer brings to the table. Having led the Delhi Capitals to two IPL playoffs, including a final and now the new KKR skipper, Iyer remains a trusted player, whether while batting or in the field.
Shreyas Iyer, who is in a surreal form now, has also shown that he has a calm head that helps him in batting in midst of a difficult situation, especially after a top-order collapse.