West Indies vs India 2019: Has Shreyas Iyer solved India's middle-order woes?
Shreyas Iyer stood tall once again in the second ODI against West Indies with a breezy 65, helping India seal the three-match series 2-0. Nor surprisingly, his exploits have attracted praise from both within the team and without; could this be the moment when India's middle order conundrum is solved for good?
Desperate to cement his position in the national framework, the unflappable Iyer has crafted two spectacular half-centuries in the ODI series against the Jason Holder-led team. And Virat Kohli himself has joined the chorus of people lauding Iyer's remarkable composure against a potent Windies attack.
The Indian captain, who notched up his 43rd century (114*) in ODIs to guide the chase, couldn't have been happier with the talented youngster right now. The batting aficionado stitched two defining partnerships with the Mumbai local, of 120 and 125, in the second and third ODIs respectively, to lay the foundation for the magnificent series victory against the men from the Caribbean.
"Shreyas has come along really well, he's just stepped in and played with a lot of confidence and I think that augurs really well for the team. He's presented a strong case for himself to be a strong contender and a regular feature in the middle order if he keeps continuing to play like that and take responsibility in that manner," Kohli said in the post-match presentation.
Kohli even talked about how Iyer wasn't intimidated by the occasion, and how he took pressure off the rest of the batting lineup with his controlled aggression. Both of those things are vital for any middle-order batsman to become a vital part of the lineup.
Here is a glimpse of Kohli's reaction to Iyer's performance:
The last two matches have showcased the full extent of Iyer's abilities, and they make you wonder if India would've had a different result at the World Cup with him in the team. Batting at No. 5 right now, Iyer is probably an even better candidate for No. 4 - the long-standing problem for the Indian team.
Displaying an all-round developed game and the ability to effectively deal with pressure situations, Iyer has undoubtedly presented a strong case to be a regular feature in the much-debated Indian middle order.