Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan (AFP Image)
Irfan Pathan said that Virat Kohli’s absence is the biggest setback for the hosts and other injuries have made the case worse for them.
Former all-rounder Irfan Pathan feels that India should back under-fire Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer for the next few matches as several senior stars are not available for the 2nd Test against England.
Gill and Iyer failed miserably in the opening Test in Hyderabad as India suffered a 28-run defeat. 24-year-old Gill scored 23 and 0 as he struggled against England spinners. On the other hand, Iyer’s rough patch in red-ball cricket extended as he failed to convert the starts 35 and 13 into big scores.
Meanwhile, India will miss the services of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja in the Vizag which will put them under added pressure to bounce back in the series.
Pathan said that Kohli’s absence is the biggest setback for the hosts and other injuries have made the case worse for them.
“The biggest setback is that India don’t have Virat Kohli. For that matter, there are several experienced players who are not available at the moment, due to some reasons,” Irfan Pathan spoke at the launch event of Asain Legends League, Season 1.
The veteran all-rounder further advised India to back Gill and Iyer because of their experience which will help India in crunch situations.
“If the situation is 1-0 or 2-1, or you know you can’t lose the series from here then you can try the young players. I want India to back Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer for some more matches. Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill have not scored big runs in recent times but they have the experience which helps the team in crunch situations. I will continue to back them because India need 3-4 experienced players in the line-up,” he added.
Gill’s numbers have dropped down since he took the number 3 spot in Test cricket last year with the West Indies Tests, since then he has yet to register a half-century. Batting at number 3, he has scored just 189 runs in 9 innings at an average of 23.62 and is yet to score a half-century. Meanwhile, Iyer has been struggling against the bouncers in recent times as the oppositions have exploited his weakness to make things worse for him.