Shreyas Iyer is making headlines for the right reasons and grabbing the attention of cricketing stalwarts.
One such stalwart is Sunil Gavaskar who believes that Shreyas Iyer is a better choice for batting at no. 4 in ODIs than Rishabh Pant. The former Indian captain feels Iyer should be given a permanent position in the Indian middle-order after his crucial knock in the second ODI.
The right-hander who has a couple of fifties in the five ODIs that he has played, made a robust comeback to the team after a year. He hit a classy 68-ball 71 that helped India beat the West Indies by 59 runs at the Queen’s Park Oval on Sunday.
“In my view, Rishabh Pant is much better like an MS Dhoni at 5 or 6 as a finisher because that’s where his natural game and natural flair will come into play,” Gavaskar told ‘Sony Ten’ channel.
“If India get to a great start with Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma batting for 40-45 overs, then Pant at No. 4. But if it’s a question of batting for 30-35 overs, then I think it should be Shreyas Iyer at No. 4 and Pant at No. 5.”
The 24-year-old built a 125-run partnership with skipper Kohli (120) after India lost Dhawan, Rohit and Rishabh Pant. The partnership turned out to be a match-winning one in the end.
After Kohli was dismissed, Iyer batted beautifully and helped India post a competitive score of 279 on the board.
Showering heaps of praise on Iyer, Sunny Gavaskar said: “He has grabbed his opportunity. He came at No. 5. He had plenty of overs. He had the company of his skipper, Virat Kohli. Nothing quite like it because the skipper takes the pressure off you.”
“The best place to learn in cricket is the non-striker’s end. That’s what Shreyas Iyer was doing with Virat Kohli at the other end,” he added.
The former Little Master, who was a part of the 1983 World Cup-winning team, opined that the youngster deserved to get many more chances in ODI cricket.
“I think, if this doesn’t help him get a more permanent slot in the Indian middle-order, I don’t know what will,” the batting legend said.
“In the five matches, he played before this, he scored 2 fifties and hit a highest score of 88. He hadn’t done anything wrong to be left out of the 14 (15) (World Cup). But that’s in the past.”
“Now he has come back and scored a 71 in his first opportunity. So I think he will get a longer run.”
India will meet the West Indies for the 3rd and final ODI at Port of Spain on Wednesday, August 14.