Team India batter Shreyas Iyer has recently opened up about his exclusion from the national main squad for the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. He could only make it to the standby list among the likes of Ravi Bishnoi and Mohammed Siraj. He was also not part of the main squad for the T20 World Cup 2021 as well.
Admitting that he was disappointed, Shreyas Iyer told the Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview: “It was disappointing. It is something that you dream as a kid, to represent your country at the biggest stage. Winning it for the team is also something which gives you the chills. But it was not that I was completely demotivated. I didn’t let that get into my mind. I was just doing my things right. I focused on myself. I took a break, went and played domestic cricket. It gave me more time to elevate my skills.”
However, his T20I numbers were not good in the away series against New Zealand after the World Cup. But, he did well in the other two formats, seizing his spot in the middle order as well. Sharing how he uses the slander from people outside the circuit as well as the opposition on the field as well, Shreyas Iyer said:
“The talk that goes on outside tend to motivate me, get the best out of me. The more people talk about me, I listen to it and soak in the pressure. I tell myself I need to prove them wrong. That’s how I approach whenever I bat in the nets, or in the match. It acts as a kind of motivation. Even when I am playing against opposition who are chirping, I like to give it back because I feel it gets my rhythm going; it lifts me, makes me focus a lot.”
He will next be seen in action during the upcoming three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, starting on January 10 as well. He was not selected for the T20I series against Sri Lanka as well. However, while sharing that he intends to represent India at both major ICC events in 2023, Shreyas Iyer said: “Definitely, it is going to be big. It’s not far away. I will have to see that I perform consistently to get my place. My eventual goal is also to play in the World Cup, along with the WTC final. I’d like to keep doing my preparations right to see to it that I achieve whatever I plan.”
However, he also added that he got out to the short ball and has looked uncomfortable against it many times as well. While talking about his short-ball concerns, Iyer said, “That problem was only created by outsiders. Many batters go through this phase where they get out in a particular way. I believe I went through that where I was targeted by the outside noise. I just wanted to prove them wrong. Eventually, I just decided I don’t have any problem. I am someone who likes to be in the present, loves to work on my abilities and skills.”
He continued: “Before getting in to bat in the first innings, I faced the sidearm bowler in the nets and a left-arm spinner. They were pitching a little short to me. I was trying to have a strong base and hit it over midwicket. I was timing every ball… so I gained confidence. Also, the sidearm bowler was varying his pace and I was getting into position, which came instinctively to me. And when I went into bat they came up with the plan of short balls. I left a few balls, (but) one of them was close to my body. After that I decided no matter where they bowl, I was going to play my stroke. Automatically my body was coming into the right position, I was playing the ball down, and that’s what you want to see in Test matches.”
“I love to keep the right attitude and approach when I step on the field; other things then take care of themselves. I love to play the situation as well. If I keep thinking what the bowler is going to do to me, if I think they are on top of me in that situation, rather than just look at the ball and react—that is when I play the best. That is what I started doing, got my basics right, kept my mindset right and turned a deaf ear to outside noise,” Shreyas Iyer concluded.