Mohammad Kaif: He is like Dhoni, scores runs even if he doesn't look good
Former India middle-order batter Mohammad Kaif made an interesting remark on Shreyas Iyer, stating that the player has a quality in sync with the one that legendary MS Dhoni possessed, in that he could look ugly at times but finds a way to score runs for the team.
For Kaif, who had worked closely with the Indian right-hander during his time with the Delhi franchise in the IPL as assistant coach, Iyer can find himself in a tangle with the short ball but eventually posts scores on the board and manages to do it consistently.
In a career marked by talks of his struggles against the bouncer, Shreyas Iyer has still managed to make his mark for the country, with his latest knock being a critical 86 in the first-innings of the Chattogram Test against Bangladesh.
Kaif believes it's a quality that makes the Mumbaikar quite similar to former skipper MS Dhoni, who may not "look good" at times but was able to retain a great standard of performances for the country with the bat over a decade and a half.
Kaif on Iyer and similarities with Dhoni
Reviewing India's 188-run victory in the first Test for Sony Sports, Kaif heaped praise on Iyer in an interesting manner, likening his nature as a player to the great MS Dhoni, in that he may look ungainly and tangled from time to time but ultimately manages to do the job with the bat.
"We always talk about Dhoni that he doesn't look good but scores runs and wins matches. Shreyas Iyer also has the same class, he knows how to make runs. There is a weakness, gets out while playing the pull shot but despite that, he has a good record in 2022," Kaif said.
"He is in good form and scoring in every match. It is a big thing to score in the first innings. India got the big lead because of his innings. He plays good drives and uses his feet as well, he is a complete batter."
"He has issues against the bouncer but every batter has some or other weakness. It will remain throughout his life, he will have to deal with it always, but what he has done is praiseworthy," he added.
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Kaif had a point, with the innings in Chattogram witnessing a number of times Iyer was in trouble with the short ball, a scenario accentuated by the tall release of Ebadot Hossain on a surface keeping low from Day 1.
But one look at the scoreboard, and the player emerges as a very strong reason why India could maintain a firm grip over the Test match, nearly recording his second Test century to help the side inch over the 400-mark in the first half.