Port of Spain | Jagran Sports Desk: Former Indian skipper and legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar heaped praise on Shreyas Iyer after he scored a match-winning 71 in the second ODI against West Indies in Port of Spain on Sunday.

Gavaskar said that Iyer fully grabbed his opportunity but his style of play is more suited to playing at number four.

“In my view, Rishabh Pant is much better like an MS Dhoni at 5 for 6 as a finisher because that's where his natural game and natural flair will come into play. If India get to a great start with Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma batting for 40-45 overs, then Pant at No. 4. But if it's a question of batting for 30-35 overs, then I think it should be Shreyas Iyer at No. 4 and Pant at No. 5,” said Gavaskar.

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“Iyer has grabbed his opportunity. He came at No. 5. He had plenty of overs. He had the company of his skipper, Virat Kohli. Nothing quite like it because the skipper takes the pressure off you. You learn from the best batsmen in the world. The best place to learn in cricket is the non-striker's end. That's what Shreyas Iyer was doing with Virat Kohli at the other end,” Gavaskar added.

Gavaskar further said that it was disappointing that Iyer missed a chance to feature in the World Cup squad but expressed confidence that he will get a longer run now in ODIs now.

“I think, if this doesn't help him get a more permanent slot in the Indian middle-order, I don't know what will. In the 5 matches, he played before this, he scored 2 fifties and hit a highest score of 88. He hadn't done anything wrong to be left out of the 14 (15) (World Cup). But that's in the past,” he said.

Iyer scored a match winning 71 off 68 balls and helped India reach a total of 279 in 50-overs. He played a good knock before some brilliant bowling from West Indies skipper Jason Holder got the better of him. Iyer was bowled around his legs as he went across the stumps for an extravagant shot. He hit five boundaries and one six during his knock.

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India won the second ODI by 59 runs via Duckworth-Lewis method. West Indies were set a revised target of 270 off 46 overs under D/L method after rain interrupted the proceedings for the second time.

In pursuit, the hosts were on course at 148 for four before they lost their last six wickets for 62 runs to be bundled out for 210 in 42 overs.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma