Shreyas Iyer. Pic/AFP
Shreyas Iyer, one of the many rising Indian batting stars, turned 29 on Wednesday. Ever since his international debut in 2017, Iyer has grabbed every opportunity to be in the playing eleven with both hands and has gradually established himself as India's first-choice middle-order batter in ODI and a successor to veteran middle-order Test batters Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, both of who are in the twilight of their storied careers.
In the white-ball cricket, Iyer has made himself synonymous with the idea of consistency. In full flow, the batter is a joy to watch, especially against spinners. He has established himself as one of the best players against spin in the last few years.
Since his Test debut in 2021, Iyer has played 10 Tests. In these, he has scored 666 runs in 16 innings at an average of 44.40. He has scored a century and five fifties and his best score is 105. He scored a century against New Zealand on debut and became the 16th player to do so.
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Though the majority of his Tests are in the Indian subcontinent's familiar conditions and he is yet to play more games in Testing conditions, pitches and bowlers in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia, collectively SENA nations where India has been weak historically, Iyer has shown a lot of temperament and character in his batting.
ODIs remain Iyer's best format. He has scored 2,331 runs in 58 ODIs and 53 innings at an average of 49.59 and a strike rate of almost 101. He has scored five centuries and 17 fifties, with the best score of 128'.
Shreyas Iyer was the part of 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Indian team, which reached the final. He had a brilliant tournament with the bat and became the first-ever middle-order batter to score 500 or more runs in a single CWC edition. Iyer smashed 530 runs at an average of 66.25 in 11 innings and a strike rate of over 113. He scored two centuries and three fifties, with the best score of 128'. He ended up as the seventh-highest run-scorer in his debut tournament.
In T20Is, Iyer has scored 1,104 runs in 51 matches and 47 innings at an average of 30.66, with eight half-centuries and best score of 74'. His runs have come at a strike rate of over 136.
Overall in 119 international matches, Iyer has scored 4,101 runs at an average of 41.84 and a strike rate of over 99. He has scored six centuries and 30 half-centuries in 116 innings, with the best score of 128'.
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In his Indian Premier League (IPL) career, Iyer has played for Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders. He led DC to the final of IPL 2020, where they lost to Mumbai Indians (MI). In 101 IPL matches, he has scored 2,776 runs at an average of 31.55, with a strike rate of 125.38. He has scored 19 fifties in the tournament, with the best score of 96.
With a hard-hitting style of play, attacking strokes and hunger to achieve more and overcome technical issues, Iyer represents a new, fearless era of Indian cricket and no doubt will be a rock of Men in Blue's middle-order for years to come.
(With agency inputs)