In the recent times, Shreyas Iyer has emerged a the go to player for the Number 4 spot on the Indian cricket team in the limited over formats i.e. ODIs (One Day Internationals) and T20Is (Twenty-20 Internationals). Even his mature play at the number 3 spot for the Delhi Capitals has also played a very crucial role in the progress of the team to the playoffs in the last season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
However, Iyer’s ability to consolidate wasn’t something that came naturally to the player, renowned for his explosive strokeplay in the domestic circuit, he was often called out for his recklessness.
Speaking to a leading agency of India, the player talked about the change in his approach to situations in the recent times, he said, “Some of it is natural and some of it is mental as well. Both go 50/50. You have to be mentally very strong when you play at the highest level. You have to believe in yourself, and you have to be positive at that stage”.
He added, “Yes, I think at that time, I was really confident about the way that I used to approach my innings, and my body language used to say it. But people used to think I was very lazy and lethargic, but I never thought about what they would think about me, I just backed myself, and I just used to do the things the way I liked to”.
Even when Iyer scored heavily in the domestic matches in the nascent years, his approach drew comparisons with Virendra Sehwag, but it wasn’t appreciated always. Iyer narrated his first encounter with the Wall, Rahul Dravid. Rahul Dravid was the coach of India A when Shreyas Iyer was in the team.
Iyer said, “India A were playing Australia A”, he added, “It was first day’s last over. I was batting on 30 or something, so everyone thought [that since] it is the last over I’ll play out the over, I’ll play it carefully and finish it. Rahul Dravid sir was sitting inside. He [the bowler] bowled a flighted delivery, so I stepped out and hit it in the air. It went high up in the air but it made it through for a six. Everyone in the dressing room came out running, they were looking up, and thinking who plays the last over like this.
“That day he, Rahul Dravid sir, judged me for how I am. He came to me and he was like “Boss! What is this? [It is the] day’s last over and you’re doing this?” But later on, I started realizing what he was trying to say”.