Saba Karim has pointed out that it is a difficult time for Shreyas Iyer as he has only been picked in the Team India reserves for the upcoming Asia Cup 2022. He added that the Kolkata Knight Riders skipper needs to work on his shortcomings to get more opportunities.
The Indian selectors have picked a 15-member squad for the Asia Cup to be played in the UAE from August 27 to September 11. They have also named three reserve players - Shreyas, Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar - for the preparatory tournament for the T20 World Cup later this year.
During an interaction on the Sports 18 show 'Sports Over the Top', Karim was asked whether it is a blow to Shreyas Iyer that he is not part of the main Indian squad and is only a reserve. He replied:
"Difficult time for him but he is still young, he will get many more opportunities but I think he will have to go back and work hard on his skill and to have more clarity in his approach while he is batting in T20 matches."
Karim highlighted that Shreyas, who was earmarked for bigger roles, has not lived up to his potential. The former Indian wicketkeeper-batter said:
"A year back he was the next big thing in T20 cricket for India and that is why he was given so many opportunities to play for the national side. We saw him play in the home series - did not perform up to his potential."
Shreyas Iyer was found slightly wanting in the T20I home series against South Africa in June this year. Although he was generally at his best against the spinners, he struggled against the Proteas quicks who targeted him with short-pitched bowling.
"It was only in the last game that he came good" - Saba Karim on Shreyas Iyer's recent T20I performances
Karim added that Shreyas made a significant contribution in only one of the five games he played against England and the West Indies.
"Again he was persisted with in the T20 series against England and then against the West Indies, it was only in the last game that he came good."
Karim pointed out that it was inevitable for Deepak Hooda to be picked ahead of Shreyas. The former Indian selector reasoned:
"So because he has been given so many opportunities, if there is someone like Deepak Hooda, who has done so well in the limited opportunities he has got and the kind of variations he brings to the table, that is the reason Deepak Hooda has been picked ahead of Shreyas Iyer."
Hooda has smashed 274 runs at an excellent average of 54.80 and an equally impressive strike rate of 161.17 in the nine T20Is he has played to date. Although he has been used sparingly with the ball, he has an exceptional economy of 5.80 in the five overs he has bowled.
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