Vice-captain Shreyas Iyer said he is not thinking about his place in the Indian ODI side and that he is focused on putting in the hard yards off the field and maximising whatever opportunities that come his way. Shreyas Iyer is certainly doing so as the star batter has chipped in with two crucial fifties in India’s wins in the ongoing ODI series against the West Indies in Port of Spain.
Shreyas Iyer has played 29 ODIs so far since making his debut in 2017 but the Kolkata Knight Riders captain is yet to cement a place in the side. Against England earlier this month, Iyer managed to play only 1 of the three ODIs as Virat Kohli has been a regular at No. 3.
However, in the absence of Kohli, Shreyas Iyer has made the most of the opportunity to bat at No. 3. Iyer stitched a crucial partnership with captain Shikhar Dhawan in the first ODI as India posted 308 and on Sunday, Iyer and Sanju Samson steadied India after they lost quick wickets in a successful chase of 312.
Shreyas Iyer hit 63 from 71 deliveries in his 99-run stand with Samson that laid the platform for Axar Patel to come in and finish the game for India. Axar struck 64 from just 35 deliveries as India completed the chase in the final over.
“Playing in the team is not in my hand. What I can do is train hard off the field and see to it that you know whenever I get the opportunity, I have to maximise it, and that’s what I have been doing, Today (Sunday) and the day before yesterday, I got the opportunity to represent my country that I feel is bigger than anything. I gave my 100 percent, and when I left the field, I had no regrets,” Shreyas Iyer told the press on Sunday in Port of Spain.
“Hard work off the field always pays off. This is the reflection of what you do off the field. I am working hard because wickets and conditions are changing frequently, and you have to stay fit and keep motivating yourself. My mindset is that I will do my work and try to control the controllable.”
It was the third successive fifty-plus score for Shreyas Iyer against the West Indies in ODIs as the Mumbai batter continued his consistent run in the 50-over format of the game.
No. 3 FUN POSITION TO BAT: IYER
Iyer is likely to make way for Virat Kohli when the former captain returns from his break but he did not refrain from making his love for the No. 3 spot public.
“It is a fun position to bat at, and I really enjoy it. It is one of the best positions to bat because you go into a very tough situation if the wicket falls in early. You go in and you have to see the new ball and then build your innings.
“Also if the openers have got into a really good partnership, then you have to go carry forward that momentum, take it on from where they have left and see to it that the run rate is maintained,” he added.
However, Iyer said he understands that the two ODIs presented him with opportunities to carry on and get a hundred for India but that he is happy to have made match-winning contributions for the team.
While Iyer got out caught at cover for 54 in the first ODI, he was undone by an Alzarri Joseph yorker in the 2nd ODI on Sunday in Port of Spain.
“I was really happy to get to what score I got today. But I was unhappy with the way I got dismissed. I thought that I could have taken the team through easily and set up the total, but I was very unfortunate with the way I got out. Hopefully, I will be able to score a century in the next one,” Shreyas Iyer added.
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