Former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri has advised Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Shreyas Iyer to be “a bit mindful” of the match situation while playing against the spinners in IPL 2022. Shastri also feels that if Iyer gives himself some more time in the middle, he can score “big runs” in the upcoming matches as well.
Iyer got out to leg-spinners in KKR’s last two matches. Against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), he got out to Wanindu Hasaranga for 13 (10) and against Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Friday, he was batting at 26 off just 14 balls, but mistimed a slog-sweep off Rahul Chahar and got dismissed.
However, Shastri defended Iyer’s skills against spin bowling, saying that he understands the risks and will “always be aggressive” against the slower bowlers as well.
He told ESPNcricinfo: “Shreyas will always be aggressive against spin. He knows it’s his strength as well. If it comes off, he’ll hit 3-4 sixes. But the way he’s got out, I believe, as a captain, he should be a bit mindful of the state of the game, the situation, and what the team needs from him. And he should take some time. The way he got out in the last two matches, he could’ve easily taken four-five balls and tried that shot. There was no need to hurry. If he does that, he’ll perhaps score runs and big runs.”
Shastri again shared: “What I’ve seen with Shreyas is that he normally hits straight. The two times he’s got out in this IPL, the first ball was so close to him that he couldn’t get the elevation and the ball went flat to the boundary. The second time he went for a cross-batted shot and it lobbed up in the air. So whenever he hits straighter – mid-on, down the ground, mid-off – his sixes come off and travel a long distance.”
However, KKR will now play against the Mumbai Indians, who have defeated them 22 times in 27 games as well. And, they will take on each other at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Thursday.
Ravi Shastri said: “It’s a big match and he doesn’t require any motivation. He’s a Mumbai player himself and Pat Cummins’ return has strengthened the team as well. They’ve played some good cricket so far; they are a good side and Shreyas has captained really well too. I think he’ll be in a good frame of mind. He’ll also be aware that Mumbai Indians are under pressure and that this is the time to catch them off-guard. It’ll be a good game.