India skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri are facing criticism from former India batsman Mohammad Kaif for making constant changes in the playing XI.
Shreyas Iyer, who has been quite successful as India’s preferred No. 4 batsman, was dropped from the first T20I after not being able to perform well in the ODI series. He was replaced by Manish Pandey, who got out scoring 2 off 8 balls.
Virender Sehwag had been critical of this trend in the Indian team previously and now Kaif has joined him.
While speaking on Sony Sports, Kaif said, “Shreyas Iyer had become your main player at one point. That he is your No.4 batsman, who finishes the game. Whether you talk about the IPL or go back to the New Zealand series, there also he finished games at No.4.”
He added, “He scored 50 not out or 33 not out, he was playing well at the No.4 position. He had two or three bad innings in the ODI, so they didn’t play him in the first T20I. This is the culture of the Indian team and we have all understood that. I am not surprised that he is dropped.”
With 519 runs in 17 matches, Iyer was one of the highest run-scorers of the recently concluded Indian Premier League. He was also quite successful in the previous series against New Zealand.
Kaif said, “This is the sort of thinking of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri and the players are also understanding that. The players also know that they will get just two innings, this is the sort of team it is.”
Iyer is however, back in the playing XI for the second T20I on Sunday, replacing Manish Pandey.