Sunil Gavaskar’s Candid Assessment of Shreyas Iyer’s Performance in SA-IND Test Series



Iyer’s Test series against South Africa was disappointing, with Sunil Gavaskar expressing support for Iyer to continue playing in the format despite his lackluster performance. Iyer only managed 41 runs in two Tests against the Proteas, with an average of 13.67. He showed promise with a knock of 31 runs in the first innings of the first Test, but his subsequent innings resulted in scores of six and a duck before making a crucial contribution in the second innings of the Cape Town Test.

Virat Kohli (172) and KL Rahul (113) were the only players to surpass 100 runs and maintain an average above 20 in the series, with Iyer having the second-lowest average among the top six batters. Gavaskar emphasized that solely blaming Iyer for India’s subpar batting performance would be unfair, highlighting the lack of substantial contributions beyond Kohli and Rahul.

“Shreyas Iyer is not the only player who failed because it’s not easy for any batter on these pitches. If you see, barring Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, no one else scored too many runs. You cannot point fingers at just one player. So I feel the selection committee will also think that he should probably be given more chances,” said Gavaskar while speaking to Star Sports.

The 29-year-old’s Test record of 707 runs, with an average of 39.27, was achieved over 12 matches. However, his struggles were evident when playing outside subcontinental conditions. In the recent series against England and South Africa, he managed only 34 runs in two innings, facing difficulties on seaming pitches. Sanjay Manjrekar pointed out the challenges faced by the right-handed batter and attributed them to his aggressive style, which was forced by such conditions. Manjrekar suggested that this approach might hinder Iyer’s consistency in the middle order.

“It’s very difficult for him because the problem is with the defence against both full and short deliveries. So, he has to work a lot to score runs on foreign pitches. If you don’t have the defence, you have to take risks to score runs and when you take too many risks with a counterattacking approach, you don’t have the consistency,” said Manjrekar.

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