As long as the team is winning, I am happy to contribute – Shreyas Iyer￼
India has a thorough campaign against West Indies as they sealed the second ODI in a thriller at the Queen’s Park Oval on Sunday, chasing the target of 311 with only two wickets in hand and as many balls to spare.
India has a thorough campaign against West Indies as they sealed the second ODI in a thriller at the Queen’s Park Oval on Sunday, chasing the target of 311 with only two wickets in hand and as many balls to spare and Shreyas Iyer got the better side of the situation.
“It was fun, to be honest,”Shreyas admitted after the series-clinching win.
“We were all sitting together, and Rahul [Dravid] sir was getting very tensed; he was consistently passing on the message.
“I think a lot of players showed really good emotions out there and were very calm and composed in the pressure situation. And since we have played so many matches lately, I think we have already seen all these emotions. It was just another game for us. I think we did pretty well, especially Axar, the way he finished off today. It was an outstanding knock.”
Shreyas scored the second half-century of the series which consisted of 71 off 63 steadied the Indian innings after they struggled from 48/0 to 79/3. The number 3 batter built a 99-run stand with Sanju Samson for the fourth wicket to lay the foundation of the Indian run chase.
“It was a crucial partnership. We lost two back-to-back wickets. We were 60 for 3 (79/3), and from there, we had to rebuild. Sanju came in and showed a lot of intent. I was already batting. I had faced around 20 balls and was batting on 15. I knew what I was going to do, and Sanju at the same time, faced a few balls, and then he went after the spinners. He hit them for two sixes, and suddenly, the momentum shifted towards us. From there onwards, we built on the partnership and carried forward the momentum.”
Despite playing a useful role in the team’s thrilling victory, Iyer is still not pleased with the way he lost his wicket. So far, he has scored 11 half-centuries and a ton in 26 ODIs.
“Really fortunate to get to consecutive half-centuries. But I should have converted it into a century. You don’t get such kind of start every time in international cricket. The more you convert your fifties into hundreds, the better it is. Today was a golden opportunity for me to convert my innings. But at the same time as long as the team is winning, I am happy to contribute.
“I was really happy to get to what score I got today. But was unhappy with the way I got dismissed. I thought that I could have taken the team through easily and set up the total, but I was very unfortunate with the way I got out. Hopefully, I will be able to score a century in the next one.”
Iyer, who was an expert batting at number 3 in domestic cricket as well and even in the IPL had to play at lower positions for India with Virat Kohli occupying the number 3 spot. Under his absence, the Mumbai batter has filled the void well enough as says that he is enjoying the role assigned to him.
“It is a fun position to bat at, and I really enjoy it. It is one of the best positions to bat because you go into a very tough situation if the wicket falls in early. You go in and you have to see the new ball and then build your innings. Also if the openers have got into a really good partnership, then you have to go carry forward that momentum takes it on from where they have left and see to it that the run rate is maintained.”
There is a strong possibility that Virat Kohli returns to the playing XI, Shreyas Iyer’s spot might be changed again if he manages to retain the place in the XI despite the good form in hand. Meanwhile, he isn’t worried about that.
“Playing in the team is not in my hand. What I can do is train hard off the field and see to it that you know whenever I get the opportunity, I have to maximize it, and that’s what I have been doing, Today and the day before yesterday, I got the opportunity to represent my country that I feel is bigger than anything. I gave my 100 percent, and when I left the field, I had no regrets.
“Hard work off the field always pays off. This is the reflection of what you do off the field. I am working hard because wickets and conditions are changing frequently, and you have to stay fit and keep motivating yourself. My mindset is that I will do my work and try to control the controllable.”