India coach Rahul Dravid praised debutant Shreyas Iyer Monday for his productive score in the drawn opening test against New Zealand, and said his performance reflects an abundance of emerging talent. Iyer, a regular limited bowler for India, stood out for India with his 105 and 65 in India’s 345 and 237-4 declared in Kanpur. India were denied victory after the Kiwis hung on in a thrilling final session on day five for a draw when they finished 165-9 in the pursuit of 284 for a victory.
But Iyer was named man of the match for his batting heroes.
“It’s always nice to see a young child do well for India in his first Test match,” Dravid said of the 26-year-old Iyer. It is also a very good reflection of the Indian system and the fact that we (players) were able to develop, ”he said.
Dravid, the team’s new head coach, was instrumental in getting young people prepared for the big stage after his visits to India A and the u.19 teams.
Iyer made his white ball debut in 2017 and a Test spot in the absence of regular captain Virat Kohli, who will join the team for the second match in Mumbai from Friday.
“He (Iyer) had to deserve it,” Dravid said.
“It was not easy for him, as he has not played first-class cricket for the past three years,” he added.
“Surely would not have made the 11 if it were not for injuries and people rested. But he got his chance and took it with both hands,” he added.
Dravid avoided outlining a possible team for the next game when Kohli returns.
Ajinkya Rahane’s lack of form has been a topic of recent discussion, but Dravid said the senior batsman, who led the team in Kanpur, will be doing well.
“You do not worry,” he said of Rahane, who has averaged under 20 in 12 games this year.
“Of course you like more runs from Ajinkya. He would love to have a few more runs, but he is a quality player who has done well for India in the past,” he added.
“He has experience, so hopefully it’s a matter of a turn or a game that he can turn it around,” he concluded.
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