Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane may face ‘baptism by fire’ in Dharamsala Test
The injury to Virat Kohli ahead of Dharamsala Test may open new opportunities for the Mumbai duo of Shreyas Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane.cricket Updated: Mar 24, 2017 17:51 IST
It will be a major blow to India’s chances if Virat Kohli is ruled unfit for the final Test. But in the worst-case scenario of India losing their captain ahead of the decider, there is a chance of Shreyas Iyer getting a look-in while Ajinkya Rahane will be thrust into the leadership role.
It will be baptism by fire for both the Mumbai players in their respective roles. However, their coach, former India batsman, Praveen Amre, is confident his wards have it in them to live up to the challenge.
Iyer has been called as a cover for Kohli mainly on the back of his 202 not out in the warm-up game against Australia. “As far as Iyer is concerned, he is a confident boy, if he gets a chance he can deliver. It is always better to play when you are in good nick,” said Amre, who has coached Iyer since his younger days.
Iyer had a slow start to this first-class season and but found his touch at the business end. He more than made up for his poor early returns in domestic matches with solid performances against Bangladesh and Australia, carving a hundred and a double respectively.
“It’s all about peaking at the right time, all good cricketers manage that. The warm-up match against Australia was the most important game for him. It came bang in the middle of the zonal Twenty20 matches but we focused our preparations entirely on the Australia game and it has paid off,” said Amre.
Rahane too could be asked to shoulder the responsibility of standing in for Kohli. “You never plan for that (captaincy due to injury), it’s really important for India’s chances that Kohli plays, but, that’s cricket…”, said Amre.
“Rahane has earned everything by performing consistently, the vice-captaincy was also through sheer performances. He goes about his work silently, and when you perform that player also earns the respect of his teammates. To captain India in a Test is the biggest honour.”