“Shreyas Iyer Has To Decide”: Ex India Star’s Blunt Warning To Under-Fire Batter

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Former Indian batter Sanjay Manjrekar adviced under-fire middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer to work on his defensive game if he wants to excel in Test cricket. Iyer, who has been struggling to score in Tests following a fine start to his long-format career, has been dropped from the squad for the final three Tests against England. In his last seven Tests, Iyer has managed just 187 runs in 12 innings at an average of 17.00, with the best score of just 35. Speaking in a video by ESPNCricinfo, Manjrekar said that Iyer first has to decide as to which formats he is going to try excelling in.

“Iyer has to decide which are the formats he is going to try and excel in. If Tests continue to be his priority, then he has got to work on his defensive game whether it’s pace and bounce or spin. Develop a game where he is confident in defence and then when he takes the aggressive route it is an extension of the defensive play where he is trying to dominate and not escape pressure by playing a counter-attacking game,” said Manjrekar.

About his predictions for the third Test line-up, Manjrekar said that KL Rahul will make a comeback as a specialist batter and also admitted that he has no idea about how the team management is thinking about the wicketkeeper spot. KS Bharat has not delivered well, scoring just 221 runs in seven games at an average of 20.09, without any fifty in 12 innings. His best score is 44.

Manjrekar said that he would like to see India play other wicketkeeping options.

“Rahul definitely comes in for a batter. Have no idea what the team management and the selectors are thinking about the keeper. Before Rishabh Pant comes and takes his rightful place in the Test squad, would like to have a look at some of the other options India have,” added Manjrekar.

Manjrekar also said that with pacer Mohammed Siraj around and reverse swing giving quicks some help, India could stick with two seam bowlers and a finger spinner in the third Test.

“If Mohammed Siraj was not available as a second seamer, then it would have been easier for India to play four spinners and go the English way. But with Siraj available, and with the reverse swinging creating opportunities for wickets for the seamers, and with the way England have played the finger spinners, India might stick to two seam bowlers and a finger spinner making way,” said Manjrekar.

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The third Test will commence on February 15 in Rajkot, while the fourth Test kicks off in Ranchi on February 23 The fifth and final test of the series will be played in Dharamsala on March 7. The series is currently at level 1. After a 28-run loss in the first Hyderabad Test, India won the second Test at Visakhapatnam by 106 runs.

Star batter Virat Kohli will remain unavailable for selection for the remainder of the series due to personal reasons.

Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar are also part of the series. The participation of batter KL Rahul and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is subject to their fitness, said BCCI.

“The participation of Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul is subject to fitness clearance from the BCCI medical team,” said the BCCI’s statement.

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Mohammed Shami, who had missed the first two Tests due to injury, continues to sit out. Pacer Akash Deep has also been included in the squad.

Squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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