In the last few years, the 23-year-old Shreyas Iyer has impressed one and all with his consistently amazing performances in the Ranji Trophy besides doing well in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) for Delhi Daredevils.
However, in the last 6 months, Iyer’s stocks as a limited-overs batsman has gone a notch above. Apart from doing well in his 6 ODIs for India, the right-hander has been in prolific touch with the bat in IPL 2018. Having appointed as Delhi Daredevils’ captain midway, Iyer has notched up the scores of 93*, 13, 50 and 44 and is the second leading run-scorer for his team.
On Tuesday (May 8), Iyer was announced as the skipper of India A squad that will take on England Lions and West Indies A in a 50-over triangular contest in England starting on June 22. The Mumbai batsman also retained his place in the 16-member India ODI squad that will play three-match series against England in July.
Ecstatic to regain his place in the national ODI team, Iyer is keen to do well in England keeping in mind the 2019 World Cup, to be held in England and Wales.
“Obviously, it’s a big opportunity again to play overseas. I haven’t played that many matches in the subcontinent, but playing abroad is going to be really important because the next World Cup is going to be in England. If I really score well there, I might be there in the reckoning. And also the current form I’m in, it will be really helpful for me to play in England and get as much experience as possible,” Iyer quoted as saying by Wisden India.
“The biggest challenge in playing in England is the swinging conditions. The atmosphere is totally different as compared to India. The bowlers kind of have an upper hand over there. Looking at the ICC Champions Trophy (in June 2017), the wickets were really flat though, so I hope I get to play on the same sort of wickets,” he added.
Recalling his experience of playing club cricket in England, Iyer said: “Playing club cricket in England has been really helpful for me. It was almost three years back and there were tough wickets out there. I played in seaming conditions. Obviously, the attacks weren’t as great as compared to the international level, but it was great exposure for me to go out and get acclimatised to the conditions. It made me grow as a player.”
Leading India A side isn’t something new to Iyer. However, there is the added benefit of preparation before the main series on this occasion.
“This will be a great opportunity prior to the ODI series, to get to know the wickets over there. Obviously, it’s a great feeling to lead the India A side. It’s not that I haven’t led before, I led against the New Zealand A team when they were touring here. Captaincy gets the best out of me. Whenever I’ve played, I’ve learned how to be responsible while batting. Previously I used to throw away my wicket, but now I’ve started rotating and taking the match till the end,” Iyer asserted.
“There are quite a few players from the Delhi Daredevils squad. Not only them, the other youngsters also, we have played together and know each other really well. It won’t be difficult for me to get used to them and them knowing me. They obviously know how good a character I am and all of us have the same kind of attitude on the field. So it will be really easy for me to handle them as well as for them to get to know me,” he concluded.
India ‘A’ team for ODI tri-series in England:
Shreyas (Capt), Prithvi, Mayank Agarwal, Shubhman Gill, H. Vihari, Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Vijay Shankar, K. Gowtham, Axar, Krunal, Prasidh Krishna, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Shardul