'Not the Iyer India wanted to see': Shreyas rolls his arms instead of Venkatesh against SA, leaves fans confused
- He may have not left a mark with the ball but Shreyas took a diving catch to remove Van der Dussen and then effected a run-out to cut short Andile Phehlukwayo's stay at the crease.
An unexpected bowling change left Indian fans puzzled on Sunday in the third and final ODI of the series against South Africa at Cape Town. Shreyas Iyer was introduced into the attack when India was in dire need of a wicket, with Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen frustrating the visitors with their unwavering batting approach.
Shreyas rolling his arms over with pesky spin in the 31st over was a surprising move from the Indian team. It also led to fans taking a sly dig at Venkatesh Iyer, who was in the team as a genuine all-rounder in the first two matches but bowled only five overs in total. Shreyas being used as the sixth bowling option also raised questions over the team selection and the need for an additional bowling option.
Shreyas had also bowled an over against West Indies during an ODI in 2019 at Vishakhapatnam. He ended up bowling two overs in the ongoing ODI against South Africa and conceded 16 runs. He may have not left a mark with the ball but Shreyas took a diving catch to remove Van der Dussen and then effected a run-out to cut short Andile Phehlukwayo's stay at the crease.
India had endured a 31-run loss in the first ODI while the KL Rahul-led camp suffered a seven-wicket loss in the second game of the series.
India have decided to go with a rejigged squad for the contest. A total of four changes were made to the camp as Suryakumar Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Prasidh Krishna and Deepak Chahar came into the side in place of R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Venkatesh Iyer and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
After winning the toss and electing to field, Chahar removed Janneman Malan (1) early to push the opposition on the backfoot. Temba Bavuma (8) also fell cheaply and Chahar then plucked his second wicket by removing Aiden Markram for 15, reducing South Africa to 70 for three.
But De Kock and Van der Dussen added 144 for the fourth wicket to put their side in command of the game. De Kock notched up his 17th ODI century while Van der Dussen scored 52 from 59 to extend India's misery of going wicketless in the middle overs.
Amid the steady SA partnership, here's how fans reacted to India's experiment of handing the ball to Shreyas Iyer: