November 25, 2021 is likely to be one of the most special days in Shreyas Iyer’s cricketing career. The right-handed batter, who is all set to play his first Test for India, got his maiden Test cap from none other than the legendary Sunil Gavaskar ahead of the first Test match against New Zealand at the Green Park in Kanpur on Thursday. BCCI shared a video on its official social media handle in which Gavaskar was seen sharing words of encouragement before handing over the cap to Iyer, who kissed the batch before putting it on. Iyer was then congratulated by his teammates with warm hugs.
“A moment to cherish for @ShreyasIyer15 as he receives his #TeamIndia Test cap from Sunil Gavaskar – one of the best to have ever graced the game,” BCCI captioned the video.
???? A moment to cherish for @ShreyasIyer15 as he receives his #TeamIndia Test cap from Sunil Gavaskar – one of the best to have ever graced the game. ???? ????#INDvNZ @Paytm pic.twitter.com/kPwVKNOkfu
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 25, 2021
Iyer, who has been quite a success in the middle-order in white-ball cricket, will be batting at No.4 or 5 in this Test match against New Zealand. The 26-year-old has an impressive average of 52 along with 12 hundreds in First Class cricket.
India are without their regular Test captain Virat Kohli, who will be back for the next Test. Rohit Sharma is also not part of the Test side and an injury to KL Rahul meant India had to do away with their ideas of trying out Shubman Gill in the middle order. Gill is set to open the batting with Mayank Agarwal, who is making a comeback at the top of the order.
India’s stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, meanwhile, won the toss and opted to bat first. Rahane said this is a good opportunity for the youngsters to show their mettle in the absence of senior players.
“(The Kanpur pitch) Generally slows down later on here. It’s an opportunity for all of us here to do well here and in Mumbai. Few of the senior guys are missing. So it’s an opportunity for the youngsters,” he said at the toss.
India have gone in with three spinners and two seamers. With Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel being the three spinners, India have the advantage of batting deep.
Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma are the two specialist seamers as India decided not to include Mohammed Siraj in the Playing XI.
New Zealand Playing XI: Tom Latham, Will Young, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell(w), Rachin Ravindra, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Kyle Jamieson, William Somerville
India Playing XI: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane(c), Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav
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