Port of Spain, Former skipper Sunil Gavaskar has said that Shreyas Iyer is more suited to play at no 4 while 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.
The 24-year-old from Delhi didn’t get game time during the T20 series. He was part of the playing XI in the first ODI, which was washed out after 13 overs at Guyana.
“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. 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.
While praising Iyer, Gavaskar said, “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, the Delhi Capitals skipper, was in good form during the Indian Premier League but he was ignored for the World Cup and Gavaskar believes the youngster should now get a longer run 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. In the five matches he played before this, he scored twp fifties and hit the highest score of 88′, Gavaskar said.
“Now he has come back and scored a 71 in his first opportunity. So I think he will get a longer run. With the win on Sunday, India have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The first ODI was washed out due to impertinent rain. The third ODI will be played on Wednesday in Trinidad.