'He could be India's perfect solution': Harbhajan feels youngster is 'ready to fill' Rahane's slot for SA Test series
- Iyer twice revived India in the Kanpur Test after a top order failure, scoring 105 and 65 to script history. Rahane, on the other hand, scored only 35 and 4.
Veteran Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh on Saturday backed young Indian batsman Shreyas Iyer to replace struggling Ajinkya Rahane in the middle-order position in India's Test batting line-up for the impending tour of South Africa, saying that he is “ready to fill the slot”.
Iyer was handed his debut Test cap in Kanpur, for the opener of the two-Test series against New Zealand last week, where he twice revived India after a top order failure scoring 105 and 65 to become the first from his country to notch up a century and a half-century score in maiden appearance in the format.
Rahane, on the other hand, scored only 35 and 4 which saw his career batting average fall to 39.01, the lowest he has recorded since February 2014. He was then rested for the second Test against New Zealand owing to a minor left hamstring strain.
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Mighty impressed with the manner in which Iyer grabbed the opportunity in the middle order in the Kanpur Test, amid Rahane's lack of runs, Harbhajan feels that while Rahane's selection for the South Africa series is still in doubt, India have a perfect replacement for the veteran cricketer.
“Shreyas Iyer batted brilliantly in the last game and showed his talent. And I am so happy that he made the most of the opportunity in the middle order. Meanwhile, Ajinkya Rahane is not scoring runs. Going forward, Iyer could be India's perfect solution. Don't know if Rahane will be a part of the India squad for the South Africa series but Iyer, I feel, has made his case as a middle-order option. It will be interesting when the selection happens,” he said speaking on his YouTube channel.
BCCI on Saturday postponed the South Africa tour, initially slated to begin from December 17 onwards, by nine days implying the tour will now begin on December 26. India will play three Tests and as many ODIs, however, the four T20Is part of the original fixture will now be rescheduled at a later date in 2022.