Former Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha suggests that Shreyas Iyer and Rajat Patidar could face exclusion from the Test squad once Virat Kohli and KL Rahul return for the England series. With Kohli missing the first two Tests due to personal reasons and Rahul sidelined by injury, uncertainties remain about their availability for the upcoming matches.
Ojha acknowledges that the recent performances of Iyer might place him behind in the selection race, and if Kohli and Rahul return, the duo would likely reclaim their spots, resulting in Iyer and Patidar having to make way.
“Shreyas Iyer was left slightly behind. When you talk about great batters like Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul has also scored runs, when they return, they will automatically be part of the XI. So probably Shreyas Iyer and Rajat Patidar will have to make way because the situation is like that,” Pragyan Ojha commented on Colors Cineplex.
He emphasizes that when established batters like Kohli and Rahul return, there isn’t much room for players like Iyer and Patidar, and providing them with a cushion becomes challenging.
“It’s not that you don’t want to give opportunities, but when great batters are coming and you don’t have that much room, you cannot give them the cushion. So go back and score runs in domestic cricket,” adds the former India spinner.
In the absence of Kohli and Rahul, Shubman Gill delivered a stellar performance, scoring a crucial century in Vizag that played a key role in levelling the series. Ojha praises Gill’s ability to handle pressure and notes the positive impact of this innings on his character and mentality.
“Fantastic batting by Shubman Gill. He grasped his chance. I will repeatedly talk about the way he handled pressure. Everyone knows that he has a lot of talent. When you play for your country, you have something special,” said Pragyan Ojha.
He concluded, “However, if you are repeatedly questioned in different ways and things are not going in your favor, your mentality takes you forward. That was a standout thing seen in him. I feel this will change his character because he will now know what needs to be done when he gets into a similar situation.”