'Was hard on him but team needed it' - Rohit Sharma on Shreyas Iyer's exclusion from first West Indies T20I

We needed someone to bowl in the middle which is why we couldn't get him in, the Indian skipper explained.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
Pranchal Srivastava

Jr. Staff Writer

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India’s white-ball skipper Rohit Sharma admitted that it was very hard on Shreyas Iyer on not making it to India’s playing XI in the first T20I against West Indies. However, he also exerted on the fact that he would need to showcase all-round skills as per the team’s requirement for the middle order slot.

Notably, Iyer was appointed as captain for Kolkata Knight Riders on February 16, two days after the franchise purchased him for a whopping price of INR 12.25 crore during the 2022 Indian Premiere League (IPL) mega auction. However, it was clear that the isn’t fitting into the specialist batter category in India for the T20 game against West Indies.

It is all about the balance of the side: Rohit Sharma

Skipper Rohit also admitted that the management spoke to Shreyas on why he was being left out and in the end, it is all about the balance of the side.

“Someone like Shreyas Iyer is sitting out, very hard on him not making it to playing eleven, but we needed someone to bowl in the middle which is why we couldn’t get him in. It’s always nice with that kind of competition going around and a lot of the guys are missing out as well. I’m happy to have that kind of challenges rather than not having players available and not in form,” Rohit told host broadcaster Star Sports during the post-match presentation.

“We were very clear with Shreyas and we told him we want that option going into the World Cup. Guys do understand what the team wants and all these guys are professionals and they do understand that team comes first. Once everyone is available it’s something we need to sit down and understand,” he added.

Iyer has so far played 32 T20I matches in which he has scored 580 runs at an average of 27.62. Playing at a strike rate of 132.12, the batter has three 50s under his belt.