Indian middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer made headlines in his debut Test as he scored a century and a fifty to become the first Indian to achieve the feat. Ahead of the South Africa tour, Iyer revealed that he intends to play freely and has the backing of the team management.
With the Boxing Day Test looming large, India has a few decisions to make regarding their playing XI. Do they persist with Ajinkya Rahane for one last time or look beyond him and test Iyer and Hanuma Vihari? The answers will be revealed tomorrow. If selected, Iyer revealed that he will look to score if the ball is there for it.
“I always walk into bat with a clear mind. When you’re batting, you can’t have your mind cluttered with too many things and plan your next shot before the ball is delivered. I believe in treating each ball on its merit and that is how I play all formats. Yes, you are eager and have a positive nervousness for your first run but at that moment, I just wanted to trust myself on each shot I was playing or attempting,” Iyer said in an exclusive interview with The Indian Express.
“As I said, I treat each ball on its merit and play with a clear mind. I always try to avoid pre-meditated shots. Yes, you do have a game plan based on the pitch, conditions, and the opponent’s bowling set-up but it is important to adapt to the situation and trust your instinct. I love playing freely and the good part is that the team management has given me that freedom. So, if the ball is there to score, I go for it,” he added.
“Feeling of donning India cap cannot be expressed in words” – Shreyas Iyer
It is a privilege to play for the national team and Shreyas Iyer felt the same when he was given his debut Test cap in the New Zealand series by Sunil Gavaskar. Speaking about the feeling, Iyer said the occasion was very special.
“I don’t think there’s a case or feeling of belonging to any level in any walk of life. You are there because you are good at what you do and as long as you respect your skill and are honest about it, you will sustain and enjoy the journey. For me, I have always wanted to play Test cricket for India and the feeling of donning the India cap cannot be expressed in words. I must add that I was lucky to be handed the Test cap by one of the greatest cricketers of all time, Sunil Gavaskar sir, which made the occasion extra special for me,” he mentioned.
The first Test begins on December 26 at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.