Shreyas Iyer and Virat Kohli
Shreyas Iyer and Virat Kohli. Image: Twitter

Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar said that Shreyas Iyer could become the backup option for Virat Kohli in the N0.3 position in the Indian batting line-up. Iyer blazed 57 runs off 28 balls while batting at 3 to escalate India’s score to 199 against Sri Lanka in the first T20I match on Thursday.

Kohli has been rested by the BCCI for a bubble break before he comes back to play the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka. In the meanwhile, Iyer is batting in the regular position of the former Indian skipper. The Mumbai batter scored 25 against West Indies in the third T20I match.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer. (Photo: BCCI)

I feel Shreyas Iyer can become a very good option at No. 3: Sanjay Bangar

Bangar believes when Kohli is injured or unavailable to play in future, India can slot Iyer in the same position to bat.

“The bench is getting strong. The position at which Shreyas is being sent to bat, he is being continuously sent at No. 3. So God forbid if Virat Kohli gets injured in some match, I feel he can become a very good option at No. 3 and that is probably where the team management’s sights are set on Shreyas Iyer, “Bangar told Star Sports. 

Shreyas Iyer answered the critics with his bat: Irfan Pathan 

Iyer smashed five boundaries and a couple of sixes in his crackling knock, he didn’t score a single boundary in the first 12 deliveries he faced. It was only in the 17th over, when he whipped a boundary against Dasun Shanaka’s bowling to open his hands.

At the end of the 17th over, India were 155 for two wickets down, Iyer smashed Chamika Karunaratane for a six over long-on and followed the carnage with two more boundaries in the 19th over. He shuffled across the crease to dispatch Dushmantha Chameera’s slower ball in the stands before he picked a couple of runs to bring up his fourth T20I fifty in just 25 balls, his fastest in T20 Internationals.

Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan lauded the Mumbai player for his staggering shots and noted that the player has a different batting style.

“This guy has the swag. When this boy is in form, it is enjoyable to watch. The big shots he plays, he doesn’t stay at one spot but despite that, the balance he generates, it is his own ability,” Irfan Pathan said on Star Sports. 

Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan (Image Credit: Instagram)

“I like the non-looker six he hits the most. The two sixes he hit off the slower ones – one-off Karunaratne and later off Chameera. He answered the critics with his bat, you don’t need to answer with your tongue. If we expect Shreyas Iyer to bat always at a strike rate of around 160, that’s not going to happen, he is a different batter,” he added. 

India won the match by 62 runs as Sri Lanka didn’t show any kind of determination to even inch closer to their target, the visitors ended their innings at 137/6. The second T20I will be played on Saturday (February 26) at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala.

Also Read: IND vs SL: Once I Got My Eye In, I Thought I Would Keep Going – Shreyas Iyer