Hardik, Shreyas impress in domestic comebacks

Making their domestic comebacks, Hardik Pandya struck with the ball while Shreyas Iyer scored a breezy century.

Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer in a chat with national selector Sarandeep Singh.   -  Amol Karhadkar

One is an India all-rounder, waiting to join the squad in Australia; the other is an India fringe player, waiting desperately to get a decent run in the national colours. One is making a comeback after being sidelined with a back injury for three months; the other is returning to first-class cricket after white-ball action for three months. One is hoping to lend his team the edge in order to clinch a knock-out berth; the other is being looked up to as the catalyst for kick-starting mission resurrection for his team.

Having ticked all the boxes, both Hardik Pandya - the Baroda all-rounder - and Shreyas Iyer - the Mumbai batsman - had a reason to smile at the end of the opening day’s play of the Ranji Trophy encounter at Wankhede Stadium. Pandya struck in each of his spells with the new balls to return with figures of three for 74, while Iyer tore the Baroda bowling apart in his 139-ball knock of 178 (17x4, 11x6).

Read: Shreyas Iyer’s blitzkrieg overshadows Siddhesh Lad’s maiden hundred

Till last week, though, the duo’s participation in the game was doubtful. Pandya was picked for India A’s one-day series in New Zealand from December 7 to 11, but his delayed recovery meant he had to prove fitness in the limited-overs’ series. Iyer finished the New Zealand assignment and arrived in Mumbai only on Thursday afternoon and shed the jet-lag with a trademark whirlwind knock.

It didn’t come as a surprise that minutes after the end of the day’s play, both Pandya and Iyer wore a satisfied look during their long chat with national selector Sarandeep Singh, who is attending the game primarily to assess Pandya’s match fitness.