IND vs NZ 2021: Shreyas Iyer Picked Over Hanuma Vihari Because Management Wanted An Attacking Option In The Middle Order - Reports
IND vs NZ 2021: Shreyas Iyer Picked Over Hanuma Vihari Because Management Wanted An Attacking Option In The Middle Order - Reports

The Indian selectors have been under the line of fire since they excluded senior batter Hanuma Vihari from the two-Test series against New Zealand, but included uncapped Shreyas Iyer in the squad.

India host the World Test Champions for a 2-Test series, starting Thursday. They will be without Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami for both Tests and Virat Kohli from the first Test as they all have been rested.

KL Rahul is also ruled out of the entire series due to a late injury. This would mean either Shreyas Iyer or Suryakumar Yadav, Rahul’s replacement, will be given a debut.

Hanuma Vihari, ICC World Test Championship
Hanuma Vihari (Image Credit: Twitter)

This, however, could have been an opportunity for Hanuma Vihari to play in only his second Test at home. The Andhra Pradesh batter has been instead sent to South Africa with India A squad to face South Africa A.

Selectors wanted batsman with counterattacking abilities: Reports

There has been a furore on social media regarding the exclusion of Hanuma Vihari, whose last Test innings was the epic rearguard against Australia in Sydney.

Now, it has been learned through a report in the Times of India that Iyer was included in the squad as the selectors wanted a more aggressive batter in the team who can launch counter-attacks on the opposition bowlers, considering the rest of the middle-order bat with the same tempo.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer[photo: Twitter]

“The reason why Iyer was preferred over Vihari is because the team management wanted an attacking option in the middle order with Rohit, Virat and Rishabh Pant resting. The line of thinking is to have players who can open up a game with counterattacking abilities,” stated a report in TOI.

“Pujara, Rahane, Vihari and Wriddhiman Saha are believed to be bringing in a bit of sameness to the batting line-up and there’s room for aggression.”

The matches against South Africa A gives Hanuma Vihari a chance to acclimatize to the conditions before the series next month.

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