‘He was the stand-out performer’ – VVS Laxman, Aakash Chopra hail Shreyas Iyer for stellar show on Test debut
Iyer became the first Indian to record a hundred and fifty on Test debut.
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Shreyas Iyer couldn’t have made a better start to his Test career. Making his debut in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur, the right-handed batter put up a batting exhibition and slammed a sensational hundred in his very first outing. If that’s not impressive enough, the youngster slammed half-century in the second innings, becoming the first Indian to record a hundred and fifty on Test debut.
Notably, Iyer got to play the Kanpur Test as skipper Virat Kohli was rested. However, the youngster was retained for the second and final Test even when Kohli returned. It was vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who went out of the XI. While BCCI stated that Rahane missed the fixture due to fitness issues, several fans and experts reckoned the veteran has been dropped owing to his dismal run.
Shreyas Iyer relied on his natural form: VVS Laxman
Meanwhile, former Indian batter VVS Laxman reckons that Iyer is the stand-out perform of the series, owing to the character he showcased in the first Test. “The standout performer was Shreyas Iyer. The way he soaked up the pressure in his first Test match, he came in to bat in a very difficult situation as four wickets were down,” Laxman said on Star Sports show Follow The Blues.
“The way he handled the pressure with ease, made a century in the first innings. India were yet again under pressure in the second innings as five wickets were down but he relied on his natural form and scored a half century,” he added. Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra, who was a part of the same panel, echoed Laxman’s opinion, saying delivering on debut is never easy.
“See, making a debut is very very tough. We thought that he will not get a chance to play in the game, because Virat Kohli was batting, but at that point of time Shreyas Iyer actually came and he actually conquered. The way he batted and made runs – in the first innings, India were at 145/4 and in the second we were at 51/5. According to me, Shreyas Iyer was the No.1 performer in this series,” he said.
Meanwhile, India will next tour South Africa for three Tests and as many ODIs, starting from December 26. As Iyer has proved his mettle in his debut Test series, many reckon he should be selected in the playing XI ahead of Rahane. Hence, it would be interesting to see whether the Indian team management is of the same opinion or not.