Ex-IND batting coach prefers Kishan over Iyer in Asia Cup final | Cricket

With Shreyas Iyer missing back-to-back matches in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup, former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar feels the Indian think tank will not risk playing the middle-order batter in the final. Rohit Sharma’s Team India is scheduled to meet defending champions Sri Lanka in the final of the Asia Cup on Sunday at the R.Premadasa Stadium. After a historic win over arch-rivals Pakistan, Rohit’s men defeated Sri Lanka in the Super 4 phase of the Asia Cup to qualify for the final.

Indian cricketers Jasprit Bumrah and Shreyas Iyer during a training session ahead of the Asia Cup 2023(PTI)
Indian cricketers Jasprit Bumrah and Shreyas Iyer during a training session ahead of the Asia Cup 2023(PTI)

India rested five players in its final Super 4 match against Bangladesh. Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami and Prasidh Krishna replaced Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav in India’s Super match tie with Bangladesh. The record-time winners also suffered a setback in their final Super 4 match as all-rounder Axar Patel was ruled out of the Asia Cup final due to a hamstring injury.

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With former India skipper Kohli and all-rounder Pandya set to return to the playing XI, Rohit’s men will enter the final as firm favourites in Colombo on Sunday. Discussing India’s playing XI ahead of the Asia Cup final on Star Sports, former India batting coach Bangar was asked whether premier batter Iyer can be considered for the showdown clash.

‘Don’t think the team management will risk playing Shreyas’

“Not at all. I don’t think the Indian team management will look at Shreyas Iyer, and understandably so, because we saw in the game against Bangladesh, they made five changes, then there was a chance that even Shreyas Iyer could have got a game. The very fact that the team management wants to be patient and wants to give Shreyas Iyer that much time, I don’t think the team management will risk playing Shreyas Iyer at least in this particular match,” Bangar said.

Returning to international cricket after six months following a back surgery, Iyer missed India’s match against Pakistan due to back spams. The star batter did not travel with the team for their crucial match against Sri Lanka. He was also rested for the Bangladesh match that Rohit’s men lost by six 6 runs. In Iyer’s absence, Kishan has taken up the role of a middle-order batter.

‘Kishan has done fabulously well’

“Ishan Kishan has done fabulously well in the last five-six innings that he has played – three innings in the West Indies under trying situations, and a couple of useful innings (in the Asia Cup), one was a superb innings against Pakistan. After that, you saw how well he batted against Sri Lanka. So all in all, I feel that taking that dismissal apart, he has had a fabulous tournament and he has even been very useful in the field. He has been very athletic,” he added.

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