India skipper Ajinkya Rahane has confirmed that Shreyas Iyer will be making his debut in the first Test against New Zealand, set to get underway from November 25 in Kanpur. Iyer was selected in the team in place of Hanuma Vihari. While Suryakumar Yadav was also added to the squad after KL Rahul was ruled out of the series owing to a thigh injury, the management decided to hand over the debut to Iyer. Notably, India have rested Rohit Sharma from the series and Virat Kohli will join the team from the second Test. Earlier, Mayank Agarwal was tipped to bat in the middle order but the batter will now have to open the innings alongside Shubman Gill.
“Shreyas Iyer is going to make his debut,” said Rahane
Rahane also spoke about his poor run with the bat. The batter has been going through an extended lean patch. Barring a century against Australia in Melbourne, Rahane doesn't have many runs behind him. On the last England tour, he averaged under 20. However, Rahane said it is not always necessary to score hundreds as the 50s and 60s can also contribute to the team's cause.
“I am not concerned about my form, it’s not necessary to make a hundred – I always think about the team, even 50 or 60 is important for the team cause”.
Over the last few years, Indian batters have struggled on spin-friendly wickets. Speaking on the challenges of playing on turning tracks Rahane said, "When you play on spin-friendly wickets it’s a challenge even for Indian batsmen so we will take it as a challenge and try to win every match we play."