When the Indian selectors meet to put together the pieces of World Cup selection, the name of young and aggressive batsman Shreyas Iyer can come up for discussion.
With Ambati Rayudu unable to cement the No 4 spot, it has left the Indian management worried over a suitable replacement. Various players have been tried, be it Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant or Manish Pandey, but the search to spruce up the brittle middle order has continued.
It is understood that Iyer, who has six one-day internationals under his belt at an average of 42.00, could be a dark horse in the 15-member squad for the World Cup.
The 24-year-old Mumbai batsman, who is also the captain of IPL franchise Delhi Capitals, was coy about his World Cup chances. When prodded he pointed out at his performances on the domestic circuit. Iyer surely has the numbers. He did well in the India A games and Indian Premier League (IPL) and recently hit two centuries in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20. His first-class average reads 52.18.
“I back myself at any number (for the World Cup), I am just waiting for my chance. It’s not at all not frustrating because I am doing well in every tournament. I am not thinking about selection processes. My job is to perform,” Iyer said during an interaction on Saturday.
“It’s always open, you never know you can get a random call from the selectors that you have been selected in the World Cup. But currently IPL is the focus.”
Iyer admitted a good IPL can push his case for World Cup selection. “If I get a great start in IPL, it is really going to impact in the selection. They will be thinking twice about me. That is what I am really looking forward to. It is not just going to be about IPL. I have done well previously -- be it India A matches, Mushtaq Ali, even the last IPL. I have been doing well in all formats.”
Iyer admitted being in touch with the selectors. “Gagan Khoda recently came up to me. He said you have been playing really well lately, just see to it that you maintain your consistency, you will be getting your chances. He never spoke to me about my selection processes or anything. He was just talking about the present. I messaged the selectors personally as well to ask where did I go wrong,” said Iyer who played his last ODI in Centurion against South Africa in 2018, but didn’t get a chance to bat.
Time will tell if Iyer would be the piece to fit in the World Cup jigsaw for India.