Selection headache for India after Shreyas Iyer's stunning hundred

Iyer shared a 200-run second wicket partnership with Shubman Gill as the two batters set the tone for India's 99-run win over Australia

By Team KT

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

India's Shreyas Iyer plays a shot during the second one-day international match against Australia in Indore on Sunday. — AFP
India's Shreyas Iyer plays a shot during the second one-day international match against Australia in Indore on Sunday. — AFP

Published: Tue 26 Sep 2023, 10:44 AM

Coming in at number three after the early dismissal of Ruturaj Gaikwad in the second ODI against Australia on Sunday, Shreyas Iyer proved his back injury is now a thing of the past.

Iyer hit a stunning 105 off 90 balls and shared 200 runs for the second wicket with Shubman Gill (104 0ff 97 balls) as the two batters set the tone for India's 99-run win over Australia in their rain-hit second ODI in Indore that sealed a 2-0 series victory.

But even more importantly, the brilliant hundred from Iyer, who missed much of India's triumphant Asia Cup campaign with a back spasm, would now give a selection headache to the team management ahead of the World Cup.

Not that Iyer is concerned about the battle for middle-order slots with regular captain Rohit Sharma and star batsman Virat Kohli set to join the team for the inconsequential third ODI on Wednesday ahead of the World Cup which starts on October 5.

"It was a rollercoaster ride. I've been working so hard the last few months, was a lonely space. Excited to be back and enjoying the atmosphere in the dressing room. I was seeing matches on the TV and wanted to be out there," said Iyer who helped India post a massive total of 399 for five on Sunday.

"I knew what I was aiming for and glad I was able to execute my plans today. My plan was the play in the V and not complicate things."

But with KL Rahul finding his best form following his return from injury and Ishan Kishan brining his explosive left-handed variety to India's batting order, it remains to be seen how Iyer gets into the full strength team.

"I'm happy to bat any position. Whatever the team requires," Iyer said.

Rahul admitted that Rohit and head coach Rahul Dravid now have some serious selection dilemma before the start of the World Cup.

"Selection is the headache of the coach and Rohit," Rahul said.

"Whoever gets picked has a job to do. Sitting out can be hard after scoring a lot of runs but everyone has been through that."

Rain intervention

A revised victory target of 317 in 33 overs following a rain interruption left Australia facing a daunting task and they ran out of steam after David Warner's departure for a defiant half-century, as India prevailed via the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, playing in only his second ODI this year, got rid of Australia's dangerous batsmen to end with 3-41 after pace bowler Prasidh Krishna's early double strike.

Asked to bat first on a good Holkar Stadium wicket by stand-in Australia captain Steve Smith, top-ranked India posted a huge 399-5 in 50 overs as opener Gill continued his superb form with a fifth ton this year and sixth overall.

The 24-year-old began cautiously but built momentum to make 104 off 97 balls, with six fours and four sixes, while Iyer gave him good company with 105 from 90 balls as the pair tore into the Australian attack without rested skipper Pat Cummins.

Iyer's third century in the format will be a huge confidence boost after the 28-year-old missed the Indian Premier League and the World Test Championship final earlier this year with a lower back injury that required surgery.

Rahul made a steady 52 in the middle overs before Suryakumar Yadav heaped the misery on Australia, striking four consecutive sixes off Cameron Green in the 44th over en route to a 37-ball 72.

Australia started shakily as Krishna removed Matthew Short and Smith off successive balls before rain briefly halted play with the tourists mounting a fightback at 56-2.

Left-hander Warner went on the offensive after play resumed and displayed his ambidexterity by batting right-handed against Ashwin, but was trapped lbw for 53 as he looked to switch back and raise the scoring rate.

Warner bizarrely did not review the umpire's decision as television replays showed he edged the ball onto his pad.

Ravindra Jadeja (3-42) then got in on the act as Australia fizzled out for 217 after a battling 54 by Sean Abbott.

India, who rested several frontline players for the first two games, will eye a clean sweep when the teams meet in Rajkot on Wednesday. They begin their World Cup campaign on October 8 against Australia. (with inputs from Reuters)


More news from Sports