KANPUR: Iconic former captain Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday presented debutant Shreyas Iyer with India Test cap here, continuing head coach Rahul Dravid's push to revive the bygone tradition of new entrants getting the coveted possession from the greats of Indian cricket.
Iyer became the 302nd player to make his Test debut for the national team and before the toss against New Zealand here, it was India's greatest opener and former skipper Gavaskar who was invited by Dravid to present the cap to a fellow Mumbaikar.
Earlier, during the T20I series, Dravid had invited one of India's most successful white-ball bowlers Ajit Agarkar to present Harshal Patel with his national cap.
🎥 A moment to cherish for @ShreyasIyer15 as he receives his #TeamIndia Test cap from Sunil Gavaskar - one of the be… https://t.co/NE6xpiPytd— BCCI (@BCCI) 1637810479000
The culture of former stalwarts presenting the national cap is very much prevalent in Australia and debutants get their 'Baggy Green' from the likes of Shane Warne, Mark Waugh, Mark Taylor or Adam Gilchrist.
In India, there was a time when ex-cricketers present were requested to do the honours, but in the past few years, it has either been the captain or some senior player or at best a support staff presenting the cap to debutants.
(Photo Courtesy: ICC Twitter)
Dravid, a product of the 'Old School', has brought that sense of nostalgia back as an emotional Iyer listened intently to what Gavaskar had to say about the essence of wearing the Test cap and what it means for a cricketer.
Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting, who is the chief coach of Delhi Capitals -- the IPL franchise Iyer plays for, also congratulated him on his Test debut.
"Having seen all the work you've put in over the last few years, very well deserved and only the beginning for you mate. Proud of you @ShreyasIyer15," tweeted Ponting.
Having seen all the work you've put in over the last few years, very well deserved and only the beginning for you m… https://t.co/hVFGT1HzOY— Ricky Ponting AO (@RickyPonting) 1637813489000