Last Updated: February 05, 2024, 13:12 IST
Shreyas Iyer was out after scoring 29 in the second innings. (AP Photo)
Shreyas Iyer hasn’t scored a half-century in his last 12 Test innings with 87 against Bangladesh in December 2022 his best during this period.
Former India pacer Zaheer Khan seems quite disappointed with Shreyas Iyer’s persistent off-form in red-ball cricket. The middle-order batter once again returned with a below-par score in each innings of the second Test against England, underway in Visakhapatnam.
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Zaheer feels Iyer wasted yet another opportunity that could see him lose his place in the playing eleven in the remaining three tests of the ongoing five-match series.
As per the India legend, Iyer had a great chance to demonstrate his calibre against the English spinners in the second innings but he ended up losing his wicket to an inexperienced Tom Hartley for 29 runs.
“You need to understand the moments that are important for you and the team, and I feel that was a moment for Shreyas Iyer as well. (James) Anderson had bowled his spell. Only one fast bowler was playing and after that, spin was going to be used,” Zaheer said on Colors Cineplex.
Iyer managed just 27 runs off 59 deliveries in India’s first innings when young opener Yashasvi Jaiswal stole the show with his maiden double-century in Tests.
Shubman Gill was the standout batter for the hosts in the second innings where India were bowled out for 255 runs.
Iyer came in to bat following the wicket of captain Rohit Sharma and Jaiswal.
After both Indian openers failed to breach the 20-run mark, Gill and Iyer stitched an 81-run partnership before the latter was caught by English captain Ben Stokes at long-on.
Zaheer reckons Iyer didn’t play his shots as per the situation which demanded more composure. “You have top-class ability to play spin. So, you wasted an opportunity. You lost your wicket while trying to be over-dominant and you might have to pay for it, considering the situation you are talking about,” the 45-year-old explained.
The Indian starting eleven is expected to see a few changes in the third Test with the impending return of Virat Kohli among others.
Zaheer feels that the selectors might drop him to make way for KL Rahul in the middle-order.
“KL Rahul and Virat Kohli might come back. So if you have two players coming in, two players will go out of the playing XI as well because they are players who will straightaway take their places in the XI. So if you don’t score runs or don’t show that you are fully ready, then Gill is definitely ahead in the race and you can say that Shreyas frittered away an opportunity,” the 2011 World Cup-winning star said.
Iyer hasn’t scored a Test fifty since December 2022 following his match-reviving 87-run knock against Bangladesh in Mirpur. In his last 12 Test innings, the 29-year-old has aggregated only 187 runs.