Two India batters were fighting to keep their place in the playing XI heading into the second Test against England amid the then-rumoured return of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. Shubman Gill managed to silence his critics with his first Test century in almost a year, third overall and maiden when batting at No. 3 for India. For Shreyas Iyer, however, the poor run of form continued and it resulted in the India batter getting dropped from the remaining three matches against England. Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra felt that Gill could have incurred a similar fate, but survived owing to his approach in the format.
Last week, BCCIs’ selection committee named the 17-man squad for the last three Tests against England and Iyer’s name was missing. Although there was confusion on whether the India batter was rested owing to an injury concern, but reports clarified that Iyer was dropped after a string of poor returns with the bat. In the two matches against England, he only managed 104 runs at 26.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Aakash reckoned that although Iyer and Gill was “in the same boat”, the former faced the axe owing to his bizarre batting approach which was even criticised by the likes of England great Kevin Pietersen. Gill, meanwhile, had scored a valiant knock of 104 runs in the second innings in Vizag to help India win by 106 runs and level the five-match contest at 1-1.
“Reports say that he was available for selection because there are three matches. So even if he wasn’t available for one match, he could have been available for the remaining two matches. So he was available for selection. However, the selectors said that they weren’t going to pick him. Shubman Gill was also in the same boat but he never looked ugly. People said that about Shreyas in the Vizag Test match and what they said wasn’t wrong,” the former India opener said.
Aakash further pointed out that Iyer had not scored a single fifty in his last 13 innings, where he averages below 20 and is yet to score his second century, having previously notched up his maiden triple-figure score in his debut innings in November 2021.