Shreyas was in great form for India in the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka in February this year. He smashed three fifties and was not dismissed even once, ending the series with 204 runs.
However, his struggles against pace bowling resumed in the IPL. In the ongoing T20I against South Africa as well he has failed to make much of an impact. Speaking on Star Sports, Pathan agreed that the 27-year-old needs to brush up his skills against fast bowling. He stated:
“Yes obviously, he has struggled against pace, not only in this series but in quite a few matches (before that). Even in the IPL, we have seen that when it comes to fast bowlers who are bowling 140-plus, he has struggled a little. His strike rate has also gone down.”
Pathan observed that while Shreyas is comfortable against spin and medium pace, he gets unsettled against genuine fast bowling. He added:
“He likes to play against spinners and if you are bowling less than 140 kph, he is very much comfortable. But the one area of his game he needs to improve is facing the fast bowlers, especially when the ball comes close to his shoulders.”
Captaining the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) during IPL 2022, the Team India batter had an inconsistent season with the willow, scoring 401 runs in 14 games at an average of 30.85. In the four T20Is against South Africa, he has registered scores of 36, 40, 14 and 4.
“He is a brilliant batter” – Irfan Pathan backs Shreyas Iyer
Despite his struggles against pace bowling, Irfan backed Shreyas, describing him as a brilliant batter who has grabbed his opportunities very well in recent times. He said:
“As far as his first-class cricket is concerned, he averages over 50. He is a brilliant batter and he has performed really well. As much as he has got a chance of batting at No. 3, he has played his part. His numbers are really good, especially in the last few months, for India as well.”
The elegant batter will get a chance to make an impact in the deciding T20I against South Africa, which will be played in Bengaluru on Sunday (June 19).