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New Zealand vs India 2020: Shreyas Iyer reflects on his maiden ODI century; credits India A matches to have helped him on settling at number 4

Modified 06 Feb 2020, 17:43 IST

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer

Middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer has expressed how he has gained versatility from batting in different positions for India A, which has enabled him to settle at number four for the senior side. Crediting his performances for India A, Iyer also talked about his maiden ODI ton in the first ODI versus New Zealand in Hamilton.

Batting at number four, Shreyas Iyer scored a brilliant 103 in 107 deliveries, which helped India post a total of 347 in 50 overs. In reply, New Zealand managed to chase down the target with four wickets in hand as Ross Taylor guided the Kiwis with his 109* in 84 balls as the latter went on to gain the lead of 1-0 in the three-match series.

While speaking at the press conference, the 25-year-old Iyer revealed how India A games are crucial for gaining flexibility in different situations, while batting from number 3 to number 5.

In India A, it's not that I have to bat number four all the time. You keep changing your position depending on what is the situation. I got to manoeuvre my place from 3 to 5, I kept changing (batting order). It's just that we get good practice there and you face different opposition as well so you get used to the atmosphere.

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Iyer also went on to explain how there is reduced pressure while batting for India A with similar faces and an atmosphere that helps him remain calm and composed.

India A games have always been helpful for me because whenever I used to go there, I used to make sure that as many matches I got, I have to make the best use of it and the players and the atmosphere is also amazing. You have no pressure.
And coming from the top arena (senior) to one level below (A team) doesn’t make you feel that you are completely away from the team but you always see similar faces around you.
KL Rahul guided India to a decent total with his 88* from 55 balls.
KL Rahul guided India to a decent total with his 88* from 55 balls.

While recovering from 54/2 at one stage, India came back strongly in the match with another fifty from skipper Virat Kohli, followed by a crucial 136-run partnership from youngsters Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul, and a short 26-run cameo from Kedar Jadhav.

India used the advantage of the batting-friendly pitch and close boundaries. However, the Kiwis outsmarted them in the chase with Taylor's century and contributions from Henry Nicholls (78) and Tom Latham (69).

Talking about the match, Iyer noted that he would have been happier if his first-ever ODI century had resulted in a victory as he kept patience in the build-up to his century.

I am very happy but would have been happier if we could have finished the game on a winning note. First of many (centuries) I hope, so I would take this in my stride and try to make sure that next time, I finish on the winning side.
I’m really happy the way I planned my innings. I was keeping my patience and I had that self-belief that once I cross that certain mark, I will be able to cover up for all the dot balls I faced and I was really happy.
Ross Taylor celebrating his century
Ross Taylor celebrating his century

The fielding woes for India continued as Kuldeep Yadav dropped Ross Taylor early in his innings, and it backfired for the visitors as New Zealand registered a much-needed morale-boosting victory after the change in format.

Speaking on the catching errors, Iyer said that the team was confident about being a quality side in the fielding department. He also added that the teammates needed to encourage each other to avoid such mistakes later on.

Everybody goes through a bad day. I personally feel that we are a very good fielding side and we have to try and hit the target so that we create the momentum on the field. We need to cheer up the bowlers as well as all the fielders have to be there in the game.

India will be hoping to level the series by a 1-1 margin as they face the Kiwis next in the second ODI in Auckland on Saturday. 

Published 05 Feb 2020, 20:21 IST
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