How Shreyas Iyer is growing in stature as an international cricketer
Team India may have lost the first ODI against the Kiwis on Wednesday, but the encounter saw Shreyas Iyer score his maiden century. The knock certainly showed glimpses of what the future holds for the talented batsman, who is growing in stature as an international cricketer with every match.
Of late Iyer has displayed remarkable maturity in the shorter formats of the game. He has been a consistent performer with the bat and is fast becoming an important member of the Indian batting lineup.
Iyer has played 16 ODIs and scored 634 runs at an average of 48.77. He has also featured in 21 T20Is and amassed 417 runs so far. Since August 2019 Iyer is the third-highest scorer in ODIs and fourth-highest run-getter in T20Is, and he looks determined to break new ground with every passing month.
Making the number 4 position his own
Not very long ago Team India was struggling to find a batsman who could fit into the number 4 position in the batting lineup. So much so, that many experts said India failed to win the 2019 World Cup because of the absence of a dependable number 4 batsman.
But Iyer seems to have filled the void and made the number 4 position his own. Though it is still early days in his career, Iyer has already shown signs that he is capable of handling pressure situations.
Even in the first ODI against New Zealand, the right-handed batsman came in to bat when the Men in Blue were in a spot of bother, having lost two wickets for 52 runs in nine overs. But he paced his innings to near perfection on a difficult wicket at the Seddon Park in Hamilton.
Iyer also got involved in a solid partnership with skipper Virat Kohli that was worth 102 runs. He managed to score 103 runs from 107 deliveries before finally getting out at the death.
Unfortunately, India lost the match courtesy a brilliant batting display by the New Zealand batsmen, who chased down the target of 347 runs. But Iyer is not someone who is going to be bogged down by negative thoughts.
"I am very happy but if it had ended on a winning note I would have been happier. But it's the first of many, so I will take it in my stride and see to it that in the next matches I finish on the winning side," Iyer said after the match.
The biggest test is yet to come
However, the biggest test of character for Iyer will be in Australia when Team India take part in the ICC T20 World Cup slated to be held later this year.
The Men in Blue led by Kohli are in scintillating form in the shortest format. They created history by completing a whitewash in the five-match T20I series against New Zealand in their backyard recently. And Iyer more than played his part in the triumph.
If Team India harbors any hope of winning a major ICC event like the T20 World Cup, then Iyer’s performance is going to be crucial. A lot is riding on his young shoulders, and the pressure will be immense.
To that end, Indian fans will be hoping he continues to perform in the same vein that he has done so far.Published 08 Feb 2020, 00:51 IST