Veteran batter Dinesh Karthik has labeled Shreyas Iyer as the next Virat Kohli of the Indian cricket team. Dinesh Karthik’s comments came after Shreyas Iyer produced a marvelous knock of 82 runs in the second ODI against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Shreyas Iyer has been one of the key players for Team India in 50-overs cricket in the last few years, scoring 1,534 runs in 38 games, including two centuries and fourteen fifties. Shreyas Iyer’s runs in ODIs have come at an impressive average of 49.48 and a strike rate of 96.17.

Shreyas Iyer’s former captain Virat Kohli is widely regarded as one of the greatest in ODIs and arguably the best chaser in the format. To date, Virat Kohli has made 12,358 runs in 264 One-Day Internationals at an average of over 57. During his illustrious career, Virat Kohli has also struck 43 tons and 64 half-centuries.

“I think the way he has played for a period of time has been phenomenal. He has scored 700-plus runs just this year and you can see the confidence. One Day International cricket is something right up his alley, he likes the fact that he can take a few balls and then start launching. Terrific player of spin and the fact that these days every time he walks in, they test him with short balls and he is coming good, almost every game,” Dinesh Karthik said on Cricbuzz.

“Yes, he had the odd failure which could be due to a short ball but every time he crosses that you can see he is a man on a mission and he wants to be there for the team at the end. He looked good in this knock, he dominated right through the time he was batting. Yes, wickets fell around him but he didn’t give up and I really like that about him. He almost took India to a place where – I think it was safe but if you want to make your name as a player, you want to make a name like what Virat Kohli has done over the years, these are the games that you wanna be 120-130 not out, that is a big difference,” Dinesh Karthik added.

“You want to stay not out in the chases and be the guy who takes the country home. That is something he would genuinely miss today. Scoring 82 looks good, and feels good, but it is only when you cross the line – being a middle-order batter and winning such games. When you start doing consistently, you the get the feeling that teams fear you,” Dinesh Karthik concluded.

Meanwhile, former India allrounder Madan Lal reacted to skipper Rohit Sharma’s statement in which he raised questions about the fitness levels of the national team’s cricketers. In recent months, Rohit Sharma has lost many key players due to their fitness issues. Among the high-profile names to miss out on tournaments in recent days was Ravindra Jadeja, and Jasprit Bumrah.

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During India’s ongoing tour of Bangladesh, India has already seen the likes of Kuldeep Sen and Deepak Chahar suffering injuries, leading to a huge selection problem in the ODIs there.

“I mean there are definitely a few injury concerns. We need to try and get to the bottom of it. I don’t know what exactly it is. Maybe they’re playing too much cricket. We need to try and monitor those guys, because it’s important to understand when they come for India, they need to be a 100 percent, in fact more than a 100 percent,” Rohit said after the match.

“It’s something we have to look at. We have to sit with our team back home at the NCA as well and try and monitor their workload. That is something we need to look at. We can’t afford guys coming in here half-fit and representing the country. There’s huge pride and honour in representing the country and if they’re not fit enough, it’s not ideal. Having said that, we just need to get to the bottom of it and find out what exactly is the reason behind this,” Rohit Sharma further stated.

“It is a very sad thing. If the captain is saying this then something is wrong somewhere. Who is responsible for this? Are trainers responsible for this? Why are unfit players going? You are playing international cricket and the result is in front of you. If they want to take rest, they can take rest during IPL matches. Your country comes first. If you are not going to win ICC trophies, your nation’s cricket is going to go down,” Madan Lal said.

“Definitely the Indian team is not going in the right direction. I have not seen the intensity in the team off late. I have not seen ‘Josh’ in them in the last couple of years. They are not looking like an Indian team at all. That passion of playing for the country is missing. Either their bodies are too tired or they are just going through the motions. And this is a serious concern,” he mentioned.