Team India stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane has confirmed that middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer will make his Test debut in the first Test against New Zealand on Thursday in Kanpur. Shreyas Iyer will make his Test debut on Thursday against New Zealand. The 26-year-old will be India’s 303rd Test cricketer.
It will be a crucial opportunity for Iyer and he needs to make it count as Kohli will return to lead the team for the second Test, which might force the 26-year-old out from the XI in Mumbai.
Speaking to the media on the eve of the opening game, Rahane said: “Shreyas is going to make his debut. Unfortunately, KL is injured, he’s not going to be part of the team for the next two Tests so Shreyas will make his debut.”
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Iyer was picked over Hanuma Vihari in the squad which raised several eyebrows as the latter didn’t get much chance to perform before getting dropped.
Earlier, it was expected that Shubman Gill will bat in the middle-order but KL Rahul’s injury will move him at the top of batting order.
Rahane also talked about his own form and said he is not concerned about it as it’s not necessary to make a hundred.
“I am not concerned about my form, it’s not necessary to make a hundred – I always think about the team, even 50 or 60 is important for the team cause”.
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India will miss the services of some of their key players including Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami as they have been rested to manage their workload.
Rahane also talked about playing on the spin-friendly tracks and claims that it will be a challenge even for Indian batters.
“When you play on spin-friendly wickets it’s a challenge even for Indian batsmen so we will take it as a challenge and try to win every match we play,” said the veteran cricketer while addressing the media.
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