“Shreyas Iyer in T20 cricket…is bizarre”, says former India pacer

Former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad on Friday questioned the inclusion of middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer in India’s first T20I against West Indies, where the visitors won by 68 runs.

In the T20I series opener, the Indian team management chose Iyer to play at number three. But Iyer, who had batted at number three in the last ODI series, was dismissed for four off four balls by left-arm pacer Obed McCoy.

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“There are some selection calls worth considering keeping in mind the upcoming World T20. It is strange to have Shreyas Iyer in T20 cricket when Sanju Samson, Hooda and Ishan Kishan are in the team. Need to work on getting the right balance, with definite starts from Virat, Rohit and Rahul,” wrote Prasad on his official Twitter account.

A fan wrote to him that Iyer has done well in the past and is just unlucky these days. Prasad replied to the fan saying, ‘He is good at 50-over cricket. There are still better players in T20 cricket who can move on from the word go. Shreyas will have to work hard on his skills for T20s.

Iyer’s inclusion in the first T20I was also questioned by former India batsman and former chairman of the senior selection committee, Kris Srikkanth, who wanted to keep all-rounder Deepak Hooda at number three.

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“Where is Hooda? He did well in T20Is, he did well in ODIs as well. He is the man who should be there. In T20 cricket you need to understand that you need an all-rounder. Batting all-rounder, bowling all-rounder, so many all-rounders are better for you,” said Srikanth on series streaming site Fancode.

Former India spinner Pragyan Ojha, who was part of the same panel, tried to defend the move. “Rahul (Dravid) believes that if a player performs first for you then play and support him. Then you move on with other options.”

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Srikkanth immediately interrupted Ojha in his clarification and said, “Rahul Dravid ka soch humko nahi chahi. Your thinking is It’s now Abhi do. (Not Rahul Dravid’s thinking. Needed your reasoning. Give it now).

The Ojha then replied, “Hudda toh ho hai (Hooda should have been. Obviously Hooda).”

“That’s it. Khatam (okay, it’s over), replied Srikkanth.

Taking a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, India and West Indies will play the next two matches at Basseterre in St Kitts on Monday and Tuesday.

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