Shreyas Iyer became the 303rd men’s player to represent India in Test cricket when he was selected in the eleven to face New Zealand in the first Test of the two-match series, on Thursday at the Green Park in Kanpur.
In the press conference a day before the game, Ajinkya Rahane, India’s captain for the first Test in absence of Virat Kohli, had confirmed that Shreyas Iyer will be making his Test debut.
Prior to the toss, Shreyas Iyer received his debut cap from legendary India batsman and former captain Sunil Gavaskar. Gavaskar had some words of wisdom for the debutant, who stood in the team huddle alongside head coach Rahul Dravid.
The 26-year-old kissed his cap before wearing it with pride as other players congratulated him.
Watch – Shreyas Iyer Receives His India Test Cap From Sunil Gavaskar
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 25, 2021
Shreyas Iyer will take 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. Iyer has been selected over Suryakumar Yadav, who was a late addition to the Test squad after KL Rahul’s injury.
The right-hander 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. Shreyas Iyer has slammed 12 centuries and 23 fifties in those matches.
Ajinkya Rahane wins the toss and elects to bat first; India play three spinners
Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and chose to bat first in Kanpur. He announced that India are going in with a strong spin trio of Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, and two senior pacers – Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav – will support them.
Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal are the openers in absence of Rohit Sharma (rested) and KL Rahul (injured) while Wriddhiman Saha gets a game as Rishabh Pant has been rested.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson made a couple of bold calls, by not including Neil Wagner and Mitchell Santner. Instead, spin bowling all-rounder Rachin Ravindra makes his debut and will pair with spinners Ajaz Patel and Will Somerville. Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson are the two pacers.
India: Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Will Young, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell (wk), Rachin Ravindra, Kyle Jamieson, Will Sommerville, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel