Indian middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer achieved a rare feat during his fifty on Day 4 of the first Test against New Zealand. He became the first Indian batsman ever to score a hundred and a fifty on Test debut.
Speaking about the knock, he was informed by head coach Rahul Dravid beforehand that his responsibility was to keep the innings steady and stay at the crease for a long time. He managed to do it with aplomb, helping India get out of the hole they had dug themselves in.
“I have been in these situations before, but not with the Indian team. I used to do this in Ranji games. The idea was to play session by session. I was aware I am the first Indian to score a century and a fifty. In the end, we have to win the match, and that would be the most important thing for me. Rahul Sir said that I need to stay out in the middle for as much as possible and build on the score,” Shreyas said after the end of play on Day 4.
We have to have faith in our spinners and put NZ under pressure – Shreyas Iyer
Starting the day with a lead of 63, India managed to push it to 283 before declaring the innings. It wasn’t easy, however, as the visitors had the home team on the mat at 51/5, courtesy of some impeccable bowling from the Kiwi bowlers. Chasing such a big target on Day 5, especially in India, is quite tough considering India’s spin power.
“I thought 250-odd including the lead was more than enough on this wicket, and fortunately we got some more. (On possibly more urgency) To be honest, there wasn’t much happening on the wicket. We needed to get to a competitive total, maybe around 275-280, and we have spin power. We have to have faith in our spinners and know they can really put them under pressure on the final day,” Shreyas Iyer concluded.
Apart from Shreyas’ 65, Wriddhiman Saha shook off a stiff neck and battled it out to score his first fifty in eleven Tests.