Shreyas Iyer will be making his India Test debut on Thursday in Kanpur against New Zealand, confirmed Ajinkya Rahane, India’s captain for the first Test, in the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
Iyer will be taking a middle-order spot in the absence of Virat Kohli, who has been rested for the first Test, and Hanuma Vihari, who is sent on the India A tour of South Africa. He has been selected over Suryakumar Yadav, who was a late addition to the Test squad after KL Rahul’s injury.
Shreyas Iyer has an outstanding first-class record – he has scored 4592 runs in 54 first-class matches, at an average of 52.18 and a strike rate of 81.54. The right-hander has slammed 12 centuries and 23 fifties in those matches.
I am not concerned about my form: Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane is under the scanner over his own form. Since the start of 2020, the right-hander averages 24 in 15 Tests, where he has notched up a solitary hundred – at the MCG – and a couple of fifties. He along with Cheteshwar Pujara will need to step up against the Kiwis in absence of Kohli (for the first Test), Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant.
Ajinkya Rahane, though, isn’t much concerned about his batting form. He asserted that some of his non-century innings have been important to the team’s cause.
“I am not concerned about my form, it’s not necessary to make a hundred – I always think about the team, even 50 or 60 is important for the team cause,” Ajinkya Rahane said.
India’s Test squad:
Ajinkya Rahane (capt), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vice-capt), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav Wriddhiman Saha (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna
Virat Kohli will join the squad for the second Test and will lead the team