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Shreyas Iyer has no other option but to bat at whatever position given to him: Aakash Chopra

Shreyas Iyer has been one of India
Shreyas Iyer has been one of India's star performers in the T20I series against England
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST
Modified 20 Mar 2021
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Aakash Chopra thinks Shreyas Iyer will have to make do with whichever batting position Team India assigns him.

Iyer top-scored for India in the first T20I against England, with a 67-run knock at the No.5 position. However, with the hosts opting to play an additional batsman, and the likes of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav given a chance up the order, the Delhi Capitals skipper has slipped to No.6.

During a discussion on ESPNcricinfo, Aakash Chopra replied that Shreyas Iyer has no other alternative when asked if the right-hander should be ready to play the floater's role.

"He does not have any other option. As they say if you are pushed into the water, you don't have any other option but to swim as the other option is to drown. So he has to bat at whatever position given to him," said Chopra.

However, the cricketer-turned-commentator acknowledged Shreyas Iyer should be batting higher up the order as he is not a long-term prospect for the No.6 spot.

"Whether it is ideal, definitely not because in the first match he had scored 67 when India made 124. So the player who made more than half the runs, you didn't send him up the order but further down. He was batting at No.5 there, now he is batting at No.6. No.6 is not the right spot for him, he has batted well, you need to pat his back but he is not a long-term option at the position you are making him bat," added Chopra.

Shreyas Iyer has predominantly batted at the No.4 spot for Team India in the recent past. He has scored 250 runs in nine matches at an excellent average of 50.00 while batting in that position.

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"Shreyas Iyer is making the best use of the opportunity given to him" - Aakash Chopra

Shreyas Iyer has scored 121 runs in the series against England thus far
Shreyas Iyer has scored 121 runs in the series against England thus far

While lauding Shreyas Iyer, Aakash Chopra pointed out that Team India opting to play an extra batsman is causing the batting order problem.

"Shreyas Iyer is making the best use of the opportunity given to him but it is not the best number for him and it is slightly a problem of their own making because there are so many top-order batsmen that even Kohli is not getting to bat at his preferred batting slot," said Chopra.

The 43-year-old highlighted Shreyas Iyer may not even get to bat under normal circumstances, with Hardik Pandya likely to be promoted up the order if Team India get off to a good start.

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"It is probably working here because he batted well and he got more chances as well because you lost a lot of early wickets. But generally you don't lose so many wickets early in T20 cricket in which case the No.6 batsman will not be utilised at all because you will push him further down and send Hardik Pandya ahead of him," observed Chopra.

While Team India have done well to give chances to deserving performers like Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav, it has been slightly unfair on Shreyas Iyer to be pushed down the order.

With Kishan and Yadav showcasing their immense talent, Team India will have a difficult choice going forward. They are likely to play with one less batsman when Ravindra Jadeja is back in the mix.


Published 20 Mar 2021, 09:32 IST
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