In the second ODI against Australia on September 24 in Indore, Shreyas Iyer, a middle-order batsman for Team India, played an outstanding century. His performances had previously cemented his role at number 4 in the Indian ODI lineup before he suffered an injury in March this year.
However, his extended period of injury led to his absence from several series from March to September. During this time, Ishan Kishan had a chance to step into the middle order and deliver a crucial performance under pressure against Pakistan in the Asia Cup group stage.
Many critics and fans advocated for Kishan’s inclusion in the starting lineup ahead of Iyer. Unfortunately, the return of the Mumbai-based batsman didn’t unfold as expected during the Asia Cup. He participated in the initial match but was sidelined for the remainder of the tournament due to a back spasm.
With key players such as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Hardik Pandya resting for the first two games against Australia, Shreyas had the opportunity to bat at number 3 in both matches. He had a disappointing performance in the first game on Friday, being run out for 3 runs from 8 balls.
However, Shreyas Iyer made amends by scoring an impressive 105 runs from 90 balls in the second game, reaffirming his significance in the Indian middle-order.
His recent innings further solidifies his excellent form in the number 3 position in 50-over cricket. Here are his scores at the number 3 spot in ODIs: 9 (27), 88 (70), 65 (63), 54 (57), 63 (71), 44 (34), 80 (76), 49 (59), 82 (102), 3 (8), 105 (90).
In those 11 innings at this position, Shreyas Iyer has amassed a total of 642 runs, maintaining an average of 58.36 and a striking rate of 97.71.
“Virat Kohli is one of the greats of the game and I can’t steal that position” – Shreyas Iyer talks about his prospects of playing at No. 3 in ODIs
In his post-match comments, Shreyas Iyer recognized Virat Kohli as a legendary figure and mentioned that it’s not feasible for him to displace Kohli from the number 3 spot. He stated:
“Virat Kohli is one of the greats of the game and I can’t steal that position (number 3) from him but there’s a lot to learn as well. I have to keep the momentum going and see to it that I maintain the same rhythm throughout.”