In recent times, in Indian cricket, the captain’s place has become a game of musical chairs. KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, and of course Rohit Sharma have all tasted the medicine. With Rohit already 35, he will be able to hold the position for a long time. Hardik showed credentials to become a leader, and other names are also been considered by the selectors. Amid this rat race though, former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja seems to be fond of Shreyas Iyer.
Shreyas Iyer managed to score as many as 1609 runs across formats in 2022, 185 more than Suryakumar Yadav, the player to have burned up the charts this year. And given the fact that Iyer achieved in the recently-concluded nerve-wracking Mirpur Test against Bangladesh, Ajay Jadeja feels Iyer can be a name that the BCCI could look up to as the next Indian skipper.
During a recent chat on Sony Sports, Ajay Jadeja said, “It’s not just once, but Shreyas Iyer has done it twice-thrice in fact. So when you learn to overcome one obstacle, you can put it behind the others too. Let’s hope to see because 2-3 years ago, he was tipped as the next Indian captain. Now it’s a different scenario altogether with as many as 12 captains in Indian cricket, but he was touted to become the next skipper.”
Iyer has left Dhawan and Shubman Gill behind to emerge as India’s leading run-scorer in ODIs this year, amassing 724 runs from 17 matches. Besides, he has been in prolific form in Tests with 422 runs from five matches at an average of 60.28, second only to Rishabh Pant who has 680 runs from seven games. Iyer, who made his debut in whites against New Zealand last year and sizzled with a century on debut, may not have scored a hundred in this, but with four fifties, has shown huge improvement.
More importantly, Iyer’s red-hot form has helped him develop a strong case to be included in India’s Playing XI across formats, and Jadeja is in awe of what he has seen of the 28-year-old during his patient knock in Mirpur. With India struggling at 74/7 while chasing a target of 145, Iyer and R Ashwin made a brilliant unbeaten partnership of 71 runs to take the team over the line for a 2-0 sweep.
Elaborating the same, Ajay Jadeja said, “He is averaging 60-70 this year in Test cricket and the temperament he showed on Day 4 was spectacular. If look at that partnership carefully, Ashwin faced more balls and scored more runs, so he realized that just because he was the last recognized specialist batter, he only has to get the job done.”
He further added, “And then the calmness he showed… it’s one thing to say ‘I love pressure situations. I thrive there’, but to do it is something else. For me, temperament has always held more significance than skills and ability because good temperament allows you to delivery and do justice to that skills.”