Iyer has been left out of the squad for the last three Test matches against England despite having a strong long-format history. Iyer has been finding it difficult to score in Tests.Iyer has only scored 187 runs in 12 innings at an average of 17:00 in his last seven Test matches, with a top score of just 35.
Speaking in a video by ESPNCricinfo, Manjrekar said that Iyer first has to decide as to which formats he is going to try excelling in.
BCCI unveils new squad for remaining 3 tests against England, Virat Kohli to miss out
“Iyer has to decide which are the formats he is going to try and excel in. If Tests continue to be his priority, then he has got to work on his defensive game whether it’s pace and bounce or spin. Develop a game where he is confident in defence and then when he takes the aggressive route it is an extension of the defensive play where he is trying to dominate and not escape pressure by playing a counter-attacking game,” said Manjrekar.
Regarding his prediction for the third Test lineup, Manjrekar stated that KL Rahul will return as a specialist batsman and acknowledged that he has no idea what the team management is considering when it comes to the wicketkeeper position. With just 221 runs scored in seven games at an average of 20.09 and no fifty in 12 innings, KS Bharat has not performed adequately. 44 is his greatest score.
Manjrekar said that he would like to see India play other wicket-keeping options.
“Rahul definitely comes in for a batter. Have no idea what the team management and the selectors are thinking about the keeper. Before Rishabh Pant comes and takes his rightful place in the Test squad, would like to have a look at some of the other options India have,” added Manjrekar.
Manjrekar added that India might continue to use two seam bowlers and a finger spinner in the third Test, especially with pacer Mohammed Siraj available with reverse swing helping quicks.
“If Mohammed Siraj was not available as a second seamer, then it would have been easier for India to play four spinners and go the English way. But with Siraj available, and with the reverse swinging creating opportunities for wickets for the seamers, and with the way England have played the finger spinners, India might stick to two seam bowlers and a finger spinner making way,” said Manjrekar.
The third Test will commence on February 15 in Rajkot.
(With ANI inputs)