BCCI president Sourav Ganguly feels that Shreyas Iyer’s real Test will come during the upcoming South Africa tour, after the youngster enjoyed a dream Test debut against New Zealand last month. The right-hander registered scores of 105 and 65 on his Test debut against New Zealand in Kanpur.
After registering a 1-0 Test series win over New Zealand at home, India are scheduled to tour South Africa for three Tests and as many ODIs starting from December 26. The recent home Test series against New Zealand saw quite a few noteworthy individual performances for the team. Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer were impressive in batting, while Ravichandran Ashwin was named Man of the Series for his bowling performance.
Iyer achieved a rare feat in the first Test in Kanpur, becoming the first Indian to score a hundred and follow it up with a fifty on his Test debut. He has been named in the squad for the Tests against South Africa and will present a strong case for inclusion in an already stacked middle-order.
"I am extremely happy that he did well in his first Test, but his real test will come when he goes to South Africa. When he goes to South Africa and England, with the pace and bounce, hopefully he will stand up and deliver,” Ganguly said on 'Backstage with Boria',
Iyer has 4,794 runs in 56 first-class matches at an average of 52.10, which Ganguly feels make up for an impressive record.
"I think he averages 50 in First Class cricket for a long period of time. I saw his First Class average, he was averaging 52 for a period of 10 years, and you can’t be ordinary to do that. At some stage you need an opportunity to show your talent at the international level,” he said.
Ganguly, who himself scored a hundred on his Test debut against England at Lords in 1996, marked Iyer's achievement as a "remarkable" one.
"He started well for his career, getting a hundred on debut. It’s a remarkable achievement, wherever he plays. I hope he just kicks on because he will be a better player after this knock. And I say that from my personal experience," Ganguly said.
"If I was 50 before the Test match at Lord’s, I was 90 after it, because it’s just the confidence which went to a different level. And I think it must be the same with Shreyas. He’ll start believing that ‘I can score runs at the Test level’ and that’s very important.
"Because everybody comes with talent. Everybody comes with ability at this stage, and when you turn that into performance, it just makes you a better player, because you’re mentally in a better space.”