When Shreyas Iyer was picked ahead of Hanuma Vihari for the ongoing Test series between India and New Zealand, it sparked a huge debate among fans and pundits on social media.
A section of Indian cricket fans was not happy with this decision, after Hanuma Vihari’s heroics in the Test series against Australia. Vihari had shown great composure and skills to take India out of difficult situations in that series and help them register an unforgettable win.
Fans were hoping that Hanuma Vihari would be the default option in the absence of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli because of his experience and heroics Down Under. But, the selectors thought differently and picked Shreyas Iyer ahead of Vihari because of former’s ability to play counter-attacking cricket in the middle.
As per a report in the Times of India, Shreyas Iyer was included in the team ahead of Hanuma Vihari because the selectors wanted a more aggressive batsman in the team, who has the ability to play counter-attacking cricket in the middle overs. And now their call has been justified.
On day 1 of the first Test match between India and New Zealand, Shreyas Iyer cam out to bat when India were in a spot of bother after losing three quick wickets. He took his time to get used to the nature of the pitch and exhibited solid technique against a good Kiwi bowling attack. He negotiated Kylie Jamieson, who was in the middle of a very aggresiuve spell, brilliantly and didn’t lose his shape and composure.
After the lunch, in the final session of the day, Iyer started to open up cautiously and started dealing in boundaries. He played elegant strokes through the off-side and put the pressure back on the Blackcaps.
Shreyas Iyer looked at absolute ease in his debut Test and didn’t let his guard drop throughout the day. He scored 75 runs off 136 balls at a healthy strike rate of 55.15, and justified the selectors’ decision to pick him for his ability to play counter-attacking cricket.
Kudos to both–Shreyas Iyer and selectors.