“He is a real possibility to be a captain for India” – Scott Styris on the West Indies series being do-or-die for Shreyas Iyer

Scott Styris believes Shreyas Iyer is a future Team India captaincy candidate if he can resolve his issues against short-pitched bowling.

Shreyas was considered one of the frontrunners to be the Indian team’s future skipper some time back. However, the shoulder injury he suffered last year and his travails against the short ball have resulted in him even losing his place in India’s first-string white-ball sides.

During an interaction on Sports 18, Styris was asked if the upcoming West Indies series is do-or-die for Shreyas Iyer or if he sees him getting more opportunities as well. He responded:

“One hundred percent, what I really like about Shreyas Iyer is the leadership quality that he possesses. I think he is a real possibility to be a captain as well for India. For that reason, I would like to see him in and even given more and more opportunities around this squad.”

On the flip side, Styris pinpointed the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper’s problems against the short ball. The former New Zealand all-rounder explained:

“What I don’t like is that there is no secret about Shreyas Iyer now. He has real problems with the short ball. I think you will see a lot of teams attack him with their quick bowlers, attack him at the body with the bouncers, under the armpit, if you like, because I am not sure he has found a way.”

Shreyas lost his wicket to short deliveries all three times during the multi-format series against England. While James Anderson and Matthew Potts got the better of him in the two innings of the Edgbaston Test, Reece Topley had him caught behind playing an ungainly shot in the only T20I he played.

“He is almost a little bit like Suresh Raina” – Scott Styris on Shreyas Iyer

Shreyas Iyer has been targeted with short-pitched bowling in recent times
Shreyas Iyer has been targeted with short-pitched bowling in recent times

Styris compared Shreyas’ issues to those faced by Suresh Raina towards the latter stages of his international career. He observed:

“He is almost a little bit like Suresh Raina in that regard where teams now know how to attack him. So it’s now up to Shreyas Iyer to find a way to succeed against that style of bowling.”

While stating that Shreyas needs to be given as many chances as possible, Styris added that the Indian team might have to look beyond the Mumbaikar if he doesn’t deliver the goods. The cricketer-turned-analyst elaborated:

“If he can do that, then I think he is one of the first names you will write down in that Indian side. I really do like all the qualities about him but until then, you just have to give him opportunities and if he can’t find success, then you need to find someone else who can. But he is very very talented.”

Shreyas did not have a great T20I series against South Africa before the England tour. The 27-year-old will hope to be at the top of his game against the West Indies, to remain in the reckoning for a spot in Team India’s squad for the T20 World Cup later this year.

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Edited by Sai Krishna