India clinched the T20I series against Bangladesh by a margin of two games to one. The early scare in the opening game was handled with care by the hosts after a balanced performance from both the established and young players making their way into the team.
In an open and honest discussion, India’s current mainstay in the middle-order, Shreyas Iyer spoke at the post-match press conference and revealed that he has the backing of the team management to bat freely at No. 4.
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He said that the competition in the squad was an important element pushing him to better his previous performance every time he stepped onto the field. He clarified that the only competition he had was with himself and was ready to bat at any position the team needed him to bat. Iyer said:
“It has been a really important last few series for me to set up the benchmark at the No. 4 position, which all of us are competing for at the moment… For me personally, they (team management) have given me a heads up that, ‘You’ll be there at No.4 so just back yourself and really believe in yourself’."
“We need someone even when Kohli and Rohit get out to finish the game and bat till the end. That role is of a No.4.”
“I personally feel that I compete with myself. … I am really open-minded and can bat at any number at a given point.”
The No. 4 debate is doing the rounds ever since the exclusion of Ambati Rayudu from the 2019 World Cup squad. Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant are some of the unsuccessful players to have been tried at the spot but none were able to cement their place. India went into the series without their regular captain Virat Kohli and injured pacer Jasprit Bumrah.
He also highlighted the importance of competition in the squad which pushed every individual to give their best in crunch situations. However, he stated that the home team was quite sluggish in their defense of the 175-run target. He said:
“We were lethargic at the start (of the second innings)... Rohit gave us a pep talk which was really motivating after which we were determined to win the match.”
Iyer also spoke about Deepak Chahar’s opening spell which, according to him proved to be one of the two turning points in the game. Chahar’s astonishing second spell helped him end with six wickets for seven runs in only 20 balls and along-with Shivam Dube strangled the Bangladesh batsman at regular intervals of the game. He also credited KL Rahul’s stupendous half-century that helped India cope up after the early loss of openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. He stated:
“There were two turning points in the game. One was DC (Deepak Chahar) coming in and getting us two wickets in the first over of his and Shivam Dube getting two back to back wickets.”
“I would credit KL (Rahul), the way he gave us the start. It was really important for one of the top-three batsman to stay till the 15th over.”
The action shifts to the two-Test series starting from November 14 at the Holkar stadium in Indore followed by India's first day-night Test match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.