Team India’s stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane confirmed on Wednesday that Shreyas Iyer will make his Test debut in the first match of the two-Test series against New Zealand in Kanpur. Iyer had received his maiden Test call-up for the series.
Rahane will be leading the side in the absence of Virat Kohli, who has been rested for the first Test. Besides Kohli, opener Rohit Sharma will rest for the entire series while KL Rahul was ruled out of the two games earlier this week, following an injury.
Speaking to the media on the eve of the opening game, Rahane said: “Shreyas Iyer is going to make his debut.”
India have also given rest to the likes of Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and it needs to be seen what combination head coach Rahul Dravid feels comfortable with. The spin department is well taken care of as Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja are all available for selection.
It is expected that Mayank Agarwal will open the batting alongside Shubman Gill, in absence of both first-choice openers – Rohit and Rahul.
Shreyas Iyer has an impressive average of 52.18 in First-class cricket, scoring 4,592 runs in 54 games. However, his last appearance in the red-ball format came in February 2019 during the Irani Cup match between the Rest of India and Vidarbha.