After praising Shreyas Iyer for his impressive half-century knock against West Indies in the second ODI match, former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar said that the youngster is more suited to playing at No.4 and Rishabh Pant at No. 5. Iyer’s 71-run knock played a pivotal role in India’s 59-run win (via DLS method) in the 2nd ODI against Jason Holder’s men in Port of Spain on Sunday.
Gavaskar’s comment came after captain Virat Kohli said that the management is backing the young wicketkeeper-batsman to bat at No.4 in the ODI format.
Kohli notched up his 42nd ODI century while Iyer crafted a neat and swift 71. Iyer’s sublime 68-ball knock was laced with five boundaries and a solitary six.
“In my view, Rishabh Pant is much better like an MS Dhoni at 5 for 6 as a finisher because that’s where his natural game and natural flair will come into play. 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,” Sunil Gavaskar told Sony Ten 1.
“He [Sheryas Iyer] 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. You learn from the best batsmen in the world. 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,”
Iyer had played just six ODIs before he was recalled for the Windies series. He scored 210 runs in five innings at an average of 42 with two half-centuries. However, he remained out of favour in the ODI set up since February 2018. Gavaskar feels that Iyer will now get a longer run in the Indian team.
“I think, if this doesn’t help him get a more permanent slot in the Indian middle-order, I don’t know what will. In the 5 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,” Gavaskar said.