IPL 2024: “When I raised my concern, no one was…,” Shreyas Iyer opens up on his struggles with back issues before IPL

Shreyas Iyer has led KKR to the final in the ongoing IPL season.

Shreyas Iyer | BCCI-IPLShreyas Iyer is the only captain in the history of Indian Premier League (IPL) to have led two different teams to the tournament final.

Iyer led the Delhi Capitals (DC) to the title clash in the 2020 edition and has now guided Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to this season’s summit match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), set to be played at Chepauk on Sunday (May 26).

Despite his impressive record as IPL captain, Shreyas hardly gets the recognition. In the ongoing season, KKR mentor Gautam Gambhir is getting the spotlight for the team’s success.

However, Shreyas Iyer remains unperturbed by not being widely recognized as a leader.

"The hype is definitely created by you guys (media). Where I stand (as a skipper) is definitely on you (to decide)," Iyer replied to a query from PTI during the presser on the eve of the IPL 2024 final.

The KKR skipper was effusive in praise of Gambhir's contribution as a mentor, hailing the latter as one of the finest readers of the game.

"About Gautam bhai, I feel he has got immense knowledge about how the game is played. He has won two titles previously with KKR, and his strategies have been spot-on in terms of what execution we have to make against the opposition. Hopefully, we keep continuing with the same momentum with his knowledge."

After an all-time great campaign in the ICC Cricket World Cup last year, Shreyas Iyer struggled with recurring back injury and then lost his BCCI central contract. He was also not considered for selection in India’s T20 World Cup 2024 squad.

More than the setbacks, Iyer is disappointed that people didn't believe him when he talked about his struggles with a back injury, which seemed to have resurfaced.

"I was definitely struggling after the World Cup in the longer format. When I raised my concern, no one was agreeing to it. But, at the same time, the competition was with myself," he stated.

For Iyer, it was important to remain focused on the job instead of thinking about what all had gone wrong.

"When IPL was approaching, all I wanted was to put my best foot forward. Whatever planning and strategizing we did before it and executing it to the best of our abilities, and that's where we are right now," he remarked.

While Iyer endured a tough time in the home Test series against England earlier this year, he gradually started to get over his concerns about national selection once he appeared for Mumbai in the Ranji final.

"We won the final. I was a part of the team and also contributed in the final. It gives me immense pleasure to be playing so well in the last few months," he said.

"All I did was stay in the present and not think about what was going to happen to me or was worried about the selection process. I just wanted to come and participate and play to the best of my abilities," he concluded.

(With PTI Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 26 May, 2024

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