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201 Days ago

Mumbai, March 10 (IANS) Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar heaped praise on talented Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer, terming him as a special talent after the 21-year-old emerged as a prolific run scorer in the 2015-16 Ranji Trophy season.

Iyer finished as the highest run-getter in the 2015-16 Ranji Trophy with 1,321 runs from 11 matches at an average of 73.38, with four centuries and seven fifties -- all scored at a superb strike-rate of 92.70. His good form helped Mumbai clinch their 41st Ranji Trophy title.

"I haven't seen Iyer bat so much. I was hoping to have a look at him today (Mumbai vs Rest of India in Irani Cup) but he got out. Anybody who gets a thousand-plus runs (in a season) has to be a special talent. I am just hoping that he goes on from there. He probably might not get a season like this but even if he gets an 800-plus season, that will be fantastic," Gavaskar told reporters here.

"I see some of them, they are all pretty thin and wiry and then you see some of the shots that they play into the stands and you think… that's also what makes their cricket exciting to watch," he said.

The 66-year-old believes that the young players in the Mumbai side have benefited largely after sharing the dressing room with international stalwarts in Indian Premier League (IPL).

"Absolutely. Look at what Bangladesh cricket has improved after the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). BPL stopped after a year or two but those couple of years, Bangladesh players were able to interact with international players and pick up things from them. Sometimes you just see how a player reacts to tension, reacts to pressure," he said.

"That's a bit of a learning curve as well. I am pretty certain someone like a Virat Kohli to be in the same dressing room as Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid or VVS Laxman and to see how they react to pressure and how they change their game under pressure for the benefit of the team has helped him. So definitely a lot of these players, players from other states also, are playing with international stalwarts in the IPL makes a big, positive difference," the former India skipper added.

Gavaskar said that India Test players Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul should have been part of the Rest of India squad for the Irani Trophy.

"Ideally yes. But I think the selection committee had their own reasons for looking at other players. I think the thinking is that we have had a look at Pujara and Vijay and Rahul, we want to see somebody else. When they see those players against the champion team, they also get a little bit of an idea about how he can bowl, how he can. But ideally for it to competitive, I think it should be best of the rest," Gavaskar added. (IANS)

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