Former Indian middle-order batsman Mohammad Kaif has stated that everyone in the Indian team very well understands that they won't get more than two innings to prove themselves. He wasn't too impressed with the way Shreyas Iyer was dropped from the side for the 1st T20I against Australia.
Chopping and changing has been a constant theme ever since Virat Kohli has overtaken Indian team's captaincy from Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Last year, in the World Cup, Indian batting struggled as they didn't even have a fixed no.4 going into the event and playing Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik didn't help the matters in the middle-order, who were not regulars in the XI ahead of the World Cup. India's journey in the tournament couldn't go beyond the semi-final against New Zealand despite being one of the favourites to win the mega event.
Shreyas Iyer, who had a lean ODI series against Australia, where India lost 1-2, wasn't picked in the first T20I with Manish Pandey and Sanju Samson preferred instead, which left Mohammad Kaif unhappy. He claimed that Iyer has been among India's best batters and despite doing well in New Zealand, has got dropped just because of few bad innings, which is how the culture of the team has been and is least surprising.
“Shreyas Iyer had become your main player at one point. That he is your No.4 batsman, who finishes the game. Whether you talk about the IPL or go back to the New Zealand series, there also he finished games at No.4. He scored 50 not out or 33 not out, he was playing well at the No.4 position. He had two or three bad innings in the ODI, so they didn’t play him in the first T20I. This is the culture of the Indian team and we have all understood that. I am not surprised that he is dropped,” Kaif said, reported Hindustan Times.
He also added that Kohli and Shastri have this sort of thinking, which even players understand now as this is how the team is.
“This is the sort of thinking of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri and the players are also understanding that. The players also know that they will get just two innings, this is the sort of team it is.”
Manish Pandey failed with the bat in the first T20I and Shreyas Iyer was back in the XI for the second game against Australia in place of Pandey.