Shreyas Iyer, the mercurial Mumbai and Indian cricketer suffered a shock when he was dropped from the Indian limited overs squad for the New Zealand tour.
Iyer, who was part of Indian T20I squad for West Indies and Australia series, but ended up not getting a single game in both the series.
In a freewheeling chat with the IndianExpress.com, Iyer talks about how he feels emotionless right now after being dropped from the Indian team and discusses topics that other youngsters don’t talk about in an effort to be diplomatic.
“I don’t feel anything from the inside these days. Koi feeling hi nahi aa raha hai. For me somehow it (fussing about Indian call) isn’t important. I am emotionless now. Someone comes and says, I am in team, I am not in team, kuch farak nahi padhta (it doesn’t matter much),” he says.
In the last three Ranji Trophy seasons, Iyer, who made his Ranji debut in 2014, has piled up 809, 1321 and 725 runs respectively. He also played six ODI’s, scoring two fifties from five innings. Since then, he has fallen off the radar of Indian selectors and knows that it is possible that he won’t be playing in the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup in England.
“I have stopped thinking too much. It all started against West Indies. I told myself that I want to enjoy my life, mazaa karna hai. I don’t want selection issues to rule my happiness. Otherwise I would get frustrated and thinking about the future will ruin my present also. It’s better to enjoy life – selection is a temporary thing,” he says.
Cricket can be an all-consuming affair, being on road at all times and Iyer knows he needs to reach a level of Shikhar Dhawan, to skip Ranji matches and still get picked for the Indian team. He needs the runs there, he needs to be performing always. He has barely spent any time at home in the last six months.
“Body is completely tired, I am fatigued mentally. But no one is going to say take rest, Kisi ko farak pada nahi hai kuch (no one cares),” he says.
He adds, “Yes. We are not machines. I wanted to tell this in any interview. There is no one to tell that players don’t get adequate rest. We are playing non-stop for two years. Zara sa break nahi milta. I am out of home for 300 days. Even if am in India, I am not home.”
Iyer also talked about turning up for games despite being away for a long time, like when Mumbai asked him to turn up for a game against Saurashtra, just a few hours after he returned from India A tour of New Zealand.
“Haan wohi, you can’t also say no. Situation is such. Other day I was in New Zealand when Mumbai asked me whether I can play next game because if Mumbai wants to go to knock-out stage, we need to win all games. How can I say no to Mumbai?” he says.
“I do feel loneliness. Once, when I was playing for India A and on a tour, I felt very lonely. How do I spend time? I listen to music and there is always Netflix. It can get tough. We players do feel homesick; people who watch us playing should realise what we go through,” he further said.
Iyer doesn’t hide the fact of being on fringes of national selection at all time, “It (frustration) was there for last four years. Hoga hi na, kisi ke saath bhi hoga (It will happen, to anyone right?) So I decided not to think about it at all.”
“I just say yes, nod my head. I have no say in this. I have to perform in whatever matches I get in front of me and am doing just that. Bas, Life is simple,” Iyer says about times when selectors comfort him and want him to keep working hard.
Iyer concludes, “I don’t care, mujhe koi farak nahi padhta seriously. I don’t follow others scores but my team-mates keep telling me, what’s happening here and there, who is scoring how much! I just listen. “I see myself as a very big batsman. I have visualised and made it my vision a long time back.”
(With Indianexpress.com inputs)