Shreyas Iyer losing his wicket in IND vs ENG 1st Test | Image:AP
Former Indian cricketer and analyst Sanjay Manjrekar has encouraged Shreyas Iyer to improve his defensive game. Manjrekar’s suggestion came after Iyer was dropped from the Indian team for the last three Tests against England.
Sanjay Manjrekar shares an advice for Shreyas Iyer
Speaking with ESPNcricinfo, Manjrekar stated that if the struggling batsman wants to restore his spot in the Indian Test squad, he must improve key aspects of his hitting style.
Shreyas Iyer will miss the remaining Test matches between India and England after being omitted from the BCCI’s 16-man roster published on February 10. The hitter, who batted in the middle of the order in the first two Tests in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, unable to contribute to any of India’s innings.
Iyer was expected to make a substantial contribution to the Indian batting lineup in the absence of Virat Kohli, who has opted out of the entire series for personal reasons. However, the 29-year-old appears to have slipped up the Indian Test squad rankings until he accomplishes something notable for the selectors.
Manjrekar believes that the middle-order batter must first determine his intent as he goes through this difficult period. He went on to say that if the batsman is serious about Test cricket, he must improve his defence.
“Iyer has to decide which are the formats he is going to try and excel in. If Tests continue to be his priority, then he has got to work on his defensive game whether it’s pace and bounce or spin,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
The 58-year-old believes that Iyer should transition to an aggressive style of play only after improving his defensive game.
“Develop a game where he is confident in defence and then when he takes the aggressive route it is an extension of the defensive play where he is trying to dominate and not escape pressure by playing a counter-attacking game,” Manjrekar added.
IND vs ENG: Iyer’s dismal run in the series
Despite his impressive performance in the 2023 ODI World Cup, Iyer struggled to adapt to the Test format and was unable to recreate his brilliance. In the first two Tests, Iyer scored just 104 runs over four innings. In India’s triumph, which was Iyer’s last chance to maintain his spot, he scored only 27 and 29 runs in both innings.