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Shreyas Iyer can be a regular: Virat Kohli

Skipper Virat Kohli says Mumbai batsman has become a strong force in the middle-order after his under-pressure 65 off 41 balls helps India beat West Indies to win ODI series 2-0

Shreyas Iyer can be a regular: Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli (left) and Shreyas Iyer with the ODI series trophy on Wednesday. Pic/Getty Images

Port-of-Spain: Indian captain Virat Kohli praised him for coming good under pressure in the ODI series against West Indies and Shreyas Iyer said he loved batting in tough situations when the dressing room is “nervous”. Iyer played a big role in India’s 2-0 series win against the West Indies, ably supporting captain Virat Kohli, who excelled with back-to-back centuries. Kohli and Iyer had partnerships of 125 and 120 in the second and third ODIs respectively, overcoming tricky situations.

In the third game, Iyer came out when India were in a spot of bother at 91-3 in the 13th over while chasing a revised target of 255 from 35 overs. His counter-attacking 65 from 41 balls took the pressure off Kohli, who remained not out on 114, and changed the complexion of the match. “I am very happy. I want to come out to bat in this kind of tough situation when everybody in the dressing room is nervous. I love it because the [complexion of the] match can change and anything can happen in the team position,” Iyer told Chahal in an interview after the third ODI on Wednesday.

At the post-match press-conference, an impressed Kohli said Iyer could be a “regular feature in middle-order” if he continues taking responsibility like he did during this three-match series, which India won 2-0. “He [Iyer] was not intimidated at all, he was very confident, very sure of his game. At no stage he looked like getting out. He has suddenly presented a role for himself, playing according to the situation. Hopefully, he keeps performing like this for the team… he can be a strong contender and a regular feature in the middle-order,” Kohli said.

The Indian team is still trying to figure out its middle-order puzzle and Iyer’s ability to handle pressure with calm and composure can offer a solution to the problem. “We were under a bit of pressure but his [Iyer’s] knock was game-changer. I think Shreyas, the way he played, took all the pressure off me and I could just play with my usual tempo and control the game from one end,” said Kohli, who scored 114 not out off 99 balls here.

Kohli said Iyer reminded him of his own early days in the India side. “I was exactly the same when I came in — any opportunity I got I wanted to win games for my team and play according to the situation and you have to take risks. He [Iyer] was brave under pressure. You need to reveal your game to realise who you are, what your game is and what kind of a player you are.” Iyer hit five sixes during his 41-ball knock.

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