It was a moment to cherish for Shreyas Iyer, who realised his dream of playing Test cricket for India. Iyer, 26, became India’s 303rd Test cricketer as he earned his maiden Test cap from none other than the legendary Sunil Gavaskar moments before the start of the first Test of the series in Kanpur.
In a video uploaded by the BCCI, Iyer was seen receiving a pep talk from Gavaskar as coach Dravid, captain Ajinkya Rahane and the rest of the teammates looked on and applauded the batter for his moment under the sun. Iyer, upon receiving the cap, got slightly emotional as he kissed the Test cap.
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Iyer, who made his India debut back in 2017, has played 54 limited-overs matches, scoring 1393 runs at an average of 42.7 in ODIs and 27.6 in T20Is. Injuries have made Iyer’s appearances sporadic in the Indian jersey, but following a brilliant season in the IPL 2020 for Delhi Capitals, in which Iyer scored 519 runs, the batter was rewarded with a maiden Test call-up.
With Virat Kohli rested, Iyer won the battle for the No. 4 spot over Suryakumar Yadav, who was drafted in as replacement for KL Rahul, who sustained a muscle strain.
Iyer has a formidable First-Class batting record, scoring 4592 runs from 54 matches at an average of 52.18. In 2017, against New Zealand A, which comprised Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson and Ish Sodhi, Iyer had scored 108 and 82 in two unofficial Tests in India.