Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is hopeful that the Ajit Agarkar-led selection panel will now stop overestimaating Shreyas Iyer’s batting abilities. Iyer was ruled out of the three Test matches against England after complaining of a stiff back.
Iyer returned with scores of 35 and 13 in the opening Test match at Hyderabad against England. The Mumbai batter returned with scores of 27 and 29 in the second Test at Vizag and thus once again could not convert his starts into substantial scores. Iyer could only score 104 runs in the first two Test matches at an average of 26.
Furthermore, Chappell feels Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul’s return to the Indian Test squad is a big positive but the hosts will continue to miss the services of veteran batter Virat Kohli. Chappelli, as he is renownedly known, said the selectors also need to value the wicket-taking abilities of Kuldeep Yadav, who bagged four wickets in the second Test at Vizag.
“India is a strong side and they also have a good leader in Rohit Sharma. They will be greatly strengthened by Ravindra Jadeja’s and KL Rahul’s recovery from injury, but that Virat Kohli will not return for the rest of the series is a blow. Hopefully, the selectors will now stop overestimating Shreyas Iyer’s batting ability and learn to value Kuldeep Yadav’s wicket-taking capability more,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPN Cricinfo.
Chappell added that India will have their work cut out in the remaining three Test matches of the series as Ben Stokes is leading aggressively.
“As the home side India should eventually win a tough series, but it has a real battle on their hands. England under the aggressive leadership of Stokes are a far cry from the poorly captained Joe Root team that capitulated against spin on their last tour of the country,” Chappell added.
The third Test match between India and England will be played at Rajkot from 15th February onwards.