On the 4th day of the Kanpur Test against New Zealand, Shreyas Iyer scripted a new history by becoming the first Indian batsman and overall 10th international batter to score a century and half-century in the debut match. The middle-order Indian batter continued to showcase his incredible form as he hit a half-century in the second innings after a debut century in the first innings.
On Sunday morning, India was struggling with 51/5 losing big names like Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja when Iyer came to rescue the team from the impending doom. His two 50+ runs partnership with Ashwin Wriddhiman Saha led Indian innings to 234/7.
Iyer took 109 balls to engineer his half-century in the second innings which includes 5 fours and 1 six. In fact, veteran cricketer Sunil Gavaskar was the last Indian to score 50+ runs in both the innings in a Test debut when he played against West Indies in 1971.
The 26-year old batter made 65 off 125 balls to help India to reach a 200+ score before getting dismissed by Tim Southee. On the other hand, Saha remained unbeaten at 61 off 126 balls. Ashwin also played aggressive cricket partnered with Iyer and contributed a valuable 62-ball 32.
At the day’s end, Iyer said, “I had been in this situation before as well in domestic cricket. My mindset was to play the session and play as many balls as possible. I wasn’t thinking too far ahead.”
“It feels good but the most important thing is to win the match. Rahul Sir had told me to bat as many balls as possible and I was determined to do that,” he added.
Several cricket legends lauded Iyer’s performance in his debut test on social media. Legendary Indian cricketer and current NCA head VVS Laxman posted on Twitter, “Top quality knocks under pressure from Shreyas Iyer and that too on debut”.
The 4th day in Kanpur ended with New Zealand’s 4/1 after losing opener Will Young to Ashwin in his second over. On the final day, the Kiwis will have the target of another 280 runs to emerge victoriously.
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