Shreyas Iyer is the optimal solution to India's middle-order conundrum
India's painful elimination against New Zealand in the penultimate fixture of the World Cup 2019 has further stirred up the debate regarding the capability of the fragile Indian middle-order. Heavily reliant on the top order, already lacking the services of an injured Shikhar Dhawan, the Indian batting unit was put under the scanner chasing a modest total of 240 runs.
"In hindsight, yes, we did need a solid batsman out there in the middle order. But now, that's something for the future. That's a position that was always giving us problems, but we just couldn't nail it," head coach Ravi Shastri acknowledged the situation post the defeat.
While the Indian cricketing fraternity attempt to recover from the melancholy of the traumatizing defeat, a young Shreyas Iyer captains the India A team to successive victories against West Indies A, far away in the Carribean. Having represented India in 6 one-day internationals, the Mumbai lad has scored 210 runs, with two half-centuries at a brisk average of 42 in his limited share of opportunities. Yet, he was sidelined as the Indian management progressed with the likes of Rishabh Pant, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, and Vijay Shankar leading into the campaign.
The panel of Indian selectors will be forced to look into the alternatives, as far as the middle-order is concerned. In the need of the hour, India requires someone with a fair amount of experience, with the temperament to stand tall in crisis. Strike rotation during the middle phases of the game is a nagging concern for the Men in Blue.
As the Indian middle-order conundrum sustains, Iyer’s name is back in the reckoning. Classical in his approach, Iyer is gifted with the ability of timing and placement. Often denoted as the best player of spin bowling in the domestic circuit, he is renowned for being a ferocious striker of the cricket ball.
Having performed consistently over the years, the composed right-hander boasts of an excellent first-class record with 4,592 runs at a sterling average of 52. With an all-round developed game at his fore and the ability to effectively deal with pressure situations, he should be sought upon as India's next no.4.
“I deserve a chance in the Indian team. My performances in the ‘A’ series should count. My goal is to be better than the previous season, I want to grow as an individual and become more mature as a player. I want to try to bat till the end,” the youngster told bcci.tv.
Overlooked earlier, Shreyas Iyer should be invested upon by the Indian management with immediate effect. The exuberant batsman might become India's next batting superstar, for he surely has the potential.