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  5. 'Leaving the ball would bore me': Shreyas Iyer on short-ball tactics against him in Ranji Trophy game

'Leaving the ball would bore me': Shreyas Iyer on short-ball tactics against him in Ranji Trophy game

Shreyas Iyer is vulnerable facing the short ball is now an open book truth to the cricketing world. No wonder Andhra bowlers employed the same ploy when he came out to bat. However, Iyer didn't back out and decided to play his shots instead of leaving the ball.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Published on: January 16, 2024 13:08 IST
Shreyas Iyer
Image Source : GETTY Shreyas Iyer

India cricketer Shreyas Iyer is not a part of the ongoing T20I series against Afghanistan. For the same reason, he returned to Ranji Trophy after a gap of five years in order to prepare for the upcoming five-match Test series against England at home. Iyer warmed up well for the series with an aggressive 48-run knock at a strike-rate of 100 but the team management would've expected more from him to gain confidence after outings in South Africa Tests.

However, Iyer is pretty much happy with the way he approached the innings irrespective of his final score. It is a given nowadays that oppposition bowlers employ short-ball tactics against the Mumbai batter and Andhra too did the same. Even then, Iyer didn't back out and decided to play aggressively instead of leaving the deliveries going over his head. This resulted in him scoring 75% of his runs on the leg-side during his stay in the middle. Moreover, while speaking to ESPNCricinfo, the middle-order batter stated that leaving the ball would bore him a lot.

"I'm going to play attacking irrespective of the situation. And also when you bowl negative, when you bowl safe and defensive at the start, you want to score runs and you need to take your team through up to a certain point. So that was my mindset and that's why stuck with. Yeah, I was happy [with my knock] irrespective of the score.[As] I said, they were bowling defensive and they didn't let me play to my strengths. Even though they started with the short balls, I was able to execute them for boundaries and get a lot of runs out of it.

"Again, they were bowling negative so there was literally no scope to…other than leaving the ball I couldn't have done much. I knew that leaving the ball would, to be honest, bore me. I would rather go and play some strokes. That's what I considered at that point of time," Iyer said. Interestingly, with KL Rahul being pushed to the middle-order and more so as a wicketkeeper-batter, competition has increased manifold for the spots in the Indian line-up. While it is still not clear if Rahul would take up the gloves for the England, there is every possibility that he will play as a proper batter and a specialist in KS Bharat or Dhruv Jurel would get a go.

Also, Rishabh Pant is slowly but steadily getting fit and is certain to play Tests later this year. This leaves Shreyas Iyer vulnerable to getting dropped as well if notable performance don't follow. But he enjoys the competition and loves challenging himself in that aspect. "It's fun. I love competition, and when competition is there, you face more challenges. And that's what I thrive on personally. So I enjoy having competition around because then you can go at each other and also against the opponents to show your talent and skills," he added.

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