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Shreyas Iyer supports skipper Rohit Sharma with maiden ODI 50 against Sri Lanka

Shreyas Iyer scored a 70-ball 88 as India levelled a three-ODI series against Sri Lanka 1-1

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Dec 13, 2017 21:46 IST
Shalini Gupta
Shalini Gupta
Hindustan Times, Mohali
India vs Sri Lanka,Indian cricket team,Sri Lankan cricket team
Shreyas Iyer plays a shot en route to his maiden ODI half-century during India vs Sri Lanka match in Mohali. (AP)

While much of the talk around toss time veered around the continued omission of Ajinkya Rahane, the spotlight obviously was on Shreyas Iyer – the choice of team management at No.3. (IND v SL highlights)

Iyer wasn’t willing to let go of the opportunity. Coming in after the openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma had put up 100-plus stand, Iyer showed glimpses of his talent. He stood his own in the 213-run partnership with Rohit and only when the latter switched gears after getting to his century was Iyer willing to play second fiddle. A 70-ball 88 will do the Mumbai youngster proud. (IND v SL scorecard)

The conditions and the match context perhaps wasn’t as testing as in Dharamsala on Sunday but full marks to Iyer for playing the way he did. He was equally comfortable against the Lankan spinners as he was to the seamers but what stood out was his confidence to play the shots, as the nine fours and two sixes will justify.

It may be recalled Iyer had scored an unbeaten 140* off 131 deliveries for India A against South Africa A. He also made a strong case for his selection after he scored an unbeaten 202 against Australia A side earlier in February. The young batsman, was included in the squad after skipper Virat was given rest for the three-ODI series. Iyer had previously played two T20Is for India against New Zealand in which he failed to leave an impression and could not justify his selection.

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The right-hand batsman scored just 23 and 6 runs in his two innings. He was earlier also called in as cover for Kohli during the fourth Test at Dharamsala against Australia but he was not included in the playing XI. Praising Iyer’s effort, Rohit Sharma said, “It was wonderful to see someone like Shreyas playing with such confidence in the second ODI of his career. I hope to see more such gritty knocks from him in the coming matches.”

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With the aim of building a strong players pool for the 2019 World Cup, the selectors would be keeping an eye on Iyer in upcoming matches. Iyer is also part of the India T20 team which takes on Sri Lanka in a three-match series.

First Published: Dec 13, 2017 14:34 IST