Shreyas Iyer had an eventful Test debut in Kanpur, leading India's revival alongside Ravindra Jadeja with the bat to help the team end Day 1 on 258/4 after opting to bat first.
Former cricketer VVS Laxman was mighty impressed with Iyer's grit and determination and the way he dominated the Black Caps bowlers.
Iyer, who averages over 52 in first-class cricket, took some time to get used to the Kanpur wicket before unleashing his strokes against the spinners.
Laxman asserted that Shreyas Iyer didn't look reckless despite playing an aggressive brand of cricket. Speaking on Star Sports, he said:
"A lot of credit should be given to Shreyas Iyer for the simple fact that the last first-class game he played was almost 2 years back. The toughest challenge for any youngster is to shift the mindset from white-ball to red-ball cricket. He didn't compromise on any aspect, he went out to play just like he plays for Mumbai or India A."
The 47-year-old added:
"The way he handled pressure shows his character. He has done that for Delhi Capitals, for India in white-ball cricket. It's great news for India that a youngster seized the opportunity on his debut. He was not hesitant to play the big shots, his natural game.
"The way he played against the spinners, he is someone like Rohit Sharma who likes to take the aerial route. There is no harm in doing that even in red-ball cricket, you have to back yourself, you have back your strength and be careful."
Walking in at No.5, Shreyas Iyer remained unbeaten on 75 and rescued India with an unbeaten 115-run partnership with Ravindra Jadeja.
"More than his skill, his character was on display" - VVS Laxman on Shreyas Iyer
Laxman stated that the 26-year-old's mental strength was on display during his first innings in Test cricket.
"Someone like Shreyas Iyer, who likes to play aggressive cricket, those shots can be reckless, sometimes. There is a very fine line between being reckless and being aggressive. I thought he was aggressive. Whenever Jamieson or Southee bowled good deliveries, he respected them.
"It's not that he played only dimensional cricket. More than his skill, his character was on display. He shows his mental toughness," Laxman signed off.
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Shreyas Iyer would be keen to convert the half-century into a big hundred on Day 2 as India look to post a mammoth first-innings total to push the Kiwis on the backfoot.