It may seem strange to briefly mention Shreyas and mention the same sentence, but the first quote took him to his maiden World Cup century.
While the latter proved to be his most effective shot in the match against the Netherlands.
Shreyas Iyer scored his maiden World Cup century, off 84 balls, against Netherlands at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday. This hundred, his fourth in this format, came on the back of 82 against Sri Lanka and 77 against South Africa.
Shreyas reached base with a single on a short ball, and his most effective shot of the evening was a pull shot. It seems strange to mention Shreyas briefly and repeat the same sentence in an article praising his roles.
After all, Shreyas’ short-ball problem is well-documented. The problem seems to be that he has no defensive options to counter, so he opts for an unconvincing shot or awkward jump to defend rather than just getting out of line.
However, the story is different in the ODI World Cup. Trusted by captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid to be India’s No. 4, Shreyas is the team’s designated middle-order attacker, whose job it is to take risks against the bowlers specifically. “When you say it’s a problem for me, what do you mean?” Shreyas asked in the post-match press conference after the win over Sri Lanka secured India’s place in the semi-finals. “See how many shots I scored, especially the ones that lasted up to four shots?
However, Shreyas did not have the best of starts in this tournament as he was dismissed for a duck in the opening match of the campaign against Australia in Chennai.
In fact, he fouled out a short ball against New Zealand and England. But since then, the Mumbai right-back’s form has improved, partly due to his “temperament”, as Dravid pointed out before the match against the Netherlands. Shreyas has worked closely with Dravid since 2015, when Dravid served as an advisor to the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals). The company later expanded into the India A organization. “Everyone will have areas they need to work on and improve. No perfect batsman can say I know everything or I am very good at everything,” Dravid said. “There will always be areas for improvement. But in the end, you should be judged on the results you achieve. How many points do you score and when do you score them? “I think with Shreyas, that’s one of the things that stands out,” he added.
Since he came to fight the Dutch, Shreyas has had his fair share of long deliveries. But that wasn’t a problem for him in what was a fairly easy match. The challenge for the opposition is that once Shreyas is appointed, they have to wait for the decision to remove him. If it’s not a short ball, the best way to get him out is when he gets out and misses, or when he scores over a hundred and is looking to do more damage. Unfortunately for the Netherlands, none of the above happened.
Leaders use slower, predictable balls after a certain point and are brutalized. When he gets to his feet, Shreyas waves or walks around him and hits him. He may not be the best short-ball player, but you won’t find Shreyas lacking the will to try harder.
This quality is rare in a brilliant player like him. “The last few rounds have given me a lot of confidence,” Shreyas said after the win over the Netherlands. “The game wasn’t easy at first, so I knew I had to make the most of a good start.” Shreyas recently claimed that since he has played most of his cricket matches on high-bouncy pitches in Mumbai, he is confident of his ability to handle the increase in players.
“Coming from Mumbai, especially Wankhede, the bounce is quite uniform and bounces more than any other surface. I have played most of my matches here so I know how to deal with it. It’s just that when I play a few rounds I have to get out, sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.
“Most of the time this doesn’t suit me; “Maybe that’s why you think it’s a problem for me, but in my mind I know there’s no problem,” Shreyas said. There is evidence that Shreyas acted the way he did in his shorts. It is true that most of the speedy Dutch goalkeepers were not the best players Shreyas faced, but there were signs that he made a conscious effort to get to the line and showed enough patience before deploying a string of shots.
On Sunday, when he returned to the dressing room, unbeaten on 128 off 94 balls, Shreyas knew he had rewarded his faith with another display of strength. But tougher tests await them in the first semi-final against New Zealand in Mumbai on Wednesday.
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