'Loyalty lasts certain amount of time': Ex-NZ bowler backs Iyer to replace senior batsman for 2nd Test; Laxman disagrees

  • India vs New Zealand 1st Test: While Ex-New Zealand bowler opined that Shreyas Iyer, after a stellar debut, will replace a senior batter, former player VVS Laxman disagreed with him.
India vs New Zealand 'Loyalty lasts only a certain amount of time': Simon Doull backs Shreyas Iyer to replace senior IND batter for 2nd Test; VVS Laxman disagrees(AP)
India vs New Zealand 'Loyalty lasts only a certain amount of time': Simon Doull backs Shreyas Iyer to replace senior IND batter for 2nd Test; VVS Laxman disagrees(AP)
Updated on Nov 29, 2021 11:22 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Shreyas Iyer has added to India's selection headache with his brilliant performance in debut Test, against New Zealand in Kanpur, where he scored a century and a fifty, becoming the first Indian to the elusive double. And these knocks came amid poor returns in both innings from senior batters - Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara - only adding to their lean patch. Hence the dillema, will Iyer be rested to make way for captain Virat Kohli in the second Test against Blackcaps in Mumbai or will one between the two veterans make their way out of the XI? Former New Zealand bowler Simon Doull, critical of the longer rope given to the senior batters, feel that Iyer has made his case strong for selection in second Test. However, India's Test legend, VVS Laxman thinks otherwise.

With scores of 35 and 4 in the Kanpur Test, Rahane's batting average has fallen to 39.01, which is now his worst since February 2014 (37.28). Pujara, on the other hand, is yet to score a ton in 40 innings since his sensational tour of Australia in 2018/19. He scored 26 and 22 in the opening Test against New Zealand.

ALSO READ: Rathour responds to fate of Pujara, Rahane, Iyer for 2nd Test against NZ

Doull, taking to Star Sports on Sunday, admitted that selectors should do away with "loyalty" and reward Iyer for his splendid show in his debut Test. He wants Iyer to replace Rahane for the second Test, adding that Pujara might get one last opportunity in Mumbai.

"Loyalty lasts only a certain amount of time. They have shown an immense amount of loyalty for Pujara and Rahane. Pujara has gone 37 innings with a hundred batting at No.3 and Rahane's average has fallen from almost 50 to down below 40. I think he has had his time and you cannot deny a player like Shreyas Iyer after he just got a hundred and then a fifty. So for me, unfortunately, Rahane misses out and they will stick with Pujara at least for the next Test match at No.3. Kohli at No.4 and Iyer at No.5. And if they don't do that, the selectors might make a mistake," he said.

Laxman, on the other hand, reiterated the "unwritten rule" of this Indian side saying that it is unlikely that coach Rahul Dravid or captain Kohli will leave out Rahane from the XI.

"Yes, it's going to be a tough choice because of the way he batted, the way he rescued the innings. The way some of those batters got out in the morning session, it's certainly a selection dilemma," Laxman said.

"You want someone in Mumbai to play in good form. However, I think there is an unwritten rule that whoever is injured or whoever misses out... the senior player, in this case, Virat Kohli, will return and senior players Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara who haven't been in great form, especially Ajinkya Rahane will still get one more chance in Mumbai. I don't think Rahul Dravid or Virat Kohli will leave out Rahane," he added.

Laxman said Iyer will unlucky to de rested for the second Test, adding that, "Unfortunately, it will force the team to leave out someone who has had a fantastic debut. It will be unfortunate but I think that has been the rule as far this Indian team is concerned."

The second Test will begin from December 3 in Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2022