Shreyas Iyer extremely fit mentally, will get better against short balls: Mohammad Kaif

Written by Sumit Seth

Former India batter Mohammad Kaif heaped rich praise on Shreyas Iyer, saying that the Mumbai batter is evolving into a bankable option in the middle-order for India in Test cricket, adding that he is good enough to play for the senior national team across all formats of the game. 

Shreyas Iyer shone on difficult pitches in the recently-concluded 2-Test series against Bangladesh, scoring 202 runs in 2 Tests as India wrapped up a 2-0 sweep. Iyer stood firm with a 29 not out on Day 4 of the second Test in Mirpur after India were reduced to 74 for 7 in their chase of 145. Iyer and R Ashwin stitched an unbeaten 71-run stand that helped India overcome a serious scare to clinch victory on a spin-friendly Mirpur pitch.

“He is not scoring hundreds but scoring continuously in every match. If I was the coach, I will say that I can bet on him for at least 60 runs. He didn’t look troubled at all, even if you talk about the ODIs,” Kaif told Sony Sports. 

Iyer has been in fine form in ODIs too, topping the charts for India with 724 runs in 17 matches at an average of over 50. Iyer has hit a hundred and 6 fifties in ODIs even though his strike rate has come under the scanner in T20I cricket.

However, Kaif believes that Iyer can play all 3 formats for India and his perceived weakness against short ball is something that he will get better at.  

“He can play all three formats. He has confirmed his spot in ODIs and Tests. You will play T20Is against Sri Lanka and New Zealand before the Test matches, so you should try him out. He is a player who hits sixes and also knows how to defend,” he added. 

“He is a proper batter, it is not that he has any weakness. Yes, people talk about the short ball but he will get better while playing.”He didn’t score too many runs in this knock but the time at which he came to bat, when the bowlers were dominating, the ball was turning, he removed the pitch from his mind and just watched the ball.

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Sumit Seth