Selectors Looking At Manish Pandey And Shreyas Iyer As Two Options For The Middle Order For West Indies Tour


New Delhi: When the Indian selectors announced India’s squad for the World Cup, they picked Vijay Shankar over Ambati Rayudu. Chief selector MSK Prasad reasoned that they were seeing Shankar as a solid option for the number 4 position. However, the Tamil Nadu-all-rounder was injured and hence, this paved the way for Rishabh Pant, who was drafted into the side as a specialist batsman for the number 4 position.

However, the conundrum remained in the middle-order and India were ousted from the World Cup. This then prompted the selectors to opt for Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer as the two options for the middle order for the West Indies tour.

In the second match of the ODI series, India lost two quick wickets, but instead of Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant walked in which was slightly befuddling. Now, former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar has said that he sees Pant more as the successor to MS Dhoni and hence, the management should use him more as a finisher.

“In my view, Rishabh Pant is much better like an MS Dhoni at 5 for 6 as a finisher because that’s where his natural game and natural flair will come into play,” Sunil Gavaskar told the host broadcasters. Gavaskar, however, was quick to add that the batting order should be flexible and the middle order should be decided depending upon the start the side gets.

 “If India get to a great start with Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma batting for 40-45 overs, then Pant at No. 4. But if it’s a question of batting for 30-35 overs, then I think it should be Shreyas Iyer at No. 4 and Pant at No. 5,” he added.

The former Indian skipper praised the temperament shown by Iyer and said that the young man grabbed his opportunity and it was a good situation to bat in since the captain kept taking the pressure off him which allowed him to settle down.

“He has grabbed his opportunity. He came at No. 5. He had plenty of overs. He had the company of his skipper, Virat Kohli. Nothing quite like it because the skipper takes the pressure off you. “The best place to learn in cricket is the non-striker’s end. That’s what Shreyas Iyer was doing with Virat Kohli at the other end,” he added.


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