Shreyas Iyer recalls how first experience with Dravid inspired change in his attitude

Shreyas talked about his journey from an instictively attacking player to an adaptable batsman.

Shreyas Iyer | GettyIndia's limited-overs batsman Shreyas Iyer recalled his first experience working with former skipper Rahul Dravid and how a chat with the great man inspired a change in his attitude towards the game. 

Dravid, then the coach of the India A side, made Iyer realise the importance of thinking team first, always keeping the bigger goal in mind.

Read Also: Bhuvneshwar Kumar recounts famously dismissing Sachin Tendulkar for duck 

"It was a four-day match and Rahul Dravid was seeing me for the first time," the 25-year-old told Cricbuzz. "It was first day's last over. I was batting on 30 or something, so everyone thought [that since] it is the last over I'll play out the over, I'll play it carefully and finish it." 

"Rahul Dravid sir was sitting inside. He [the bowler] bowled a flighted delivery, so I stepped out and hit it in the air. It went high up in the air and it was a six. Everyone in the dressing room came out running, they were looking up, and thinking who plays the last over like this."

"That day he [Rahul Dravid] judged me for how I am. He came to me and he was like "Boss! What is this? [It is the] day's last over and you're doing this?" But later on, I started realising about what he was trying to say."

Iyer, then quite young, very keen to get into the senior Indian team after a prolific run at the domestic level, knew from there the mental aptitude required to play at the highest level, which he eventually did in 2017. 

The right-hand batsman went really well in the first few games he played but was soon dropped from the side, missing the plane to the 2019 World Cup.

The resurgence happened post the showpiece event in UK when Iyer cemented his position in the middle-order through consistent performances in West Indies, New Zealand, either side of the home season in India. 

The strong temperament, ability to adjust his game to different situation stands-out with Iyer today, but it isn't something that comes naturally. For years he was this instinctively attacking batsman at the level beneath, often accused of erring on the reckless side of things. 

"Some of it is natural and some of it is mental as well. Both go 50/50. You have to be mentally very strong, when you play at the highest level. You have to believe in yourself, and you have to be positive at that stage."

"Yes, I think at that time, I was really confident about the way that I used to approach my innings, and my body language used to say it," he added. 

"But people used to think I was very lazy and lethargic, but I never thought about what they would think about me, I just backed myself, and I just used to do the things the way I liked to."

(Inputs from Cricbuzz)


By Kashish Chadha - 04 Apr, 2020

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