Shreyas Iyer is confident that he has ended the longstanding debate on the No.4 position for India in white-ball cricket.
Having tried multiple options, the team management recalled the Mumbai right-hand batsman in the aftermath of India's unsuccessful World Cup campaign in the UK.
Iyer has done exceedingly well since then, especially when he toured New Zealand earlier this year and came out as one of the positives in his team's 3-0 ODI series loss.
"If you have been playing for India at that position for a year now that means you have sealed it. There should be no more questions asked about it," said the 25-year-old during an Instagram live chat hosted by his IPL franchise Delhi Capitals (DC).
Iyer, however, remains willing to bat at any position as per the demand of the situation.
"When the debate was going on about No 4, performing at No 4 and completely sealing the position was really satisfying," he said. "But when you are playing for India, you need to be very much flexible at any position or whatever the team requires. I feel I can bat any position depending on the situation."
In his first series following his comeback in the Caribbean, Iyer batted at No.5 and earned rich praise of skipper Virat Kohli on the back of successive half-centuries.
"It’s really a phenomenal feeling when he (Kohli) talks or compliments his teammates… He’s a role model for all the youngsters out there," said Iyer, who heaped effusive praise on his captain. "Whenever he goes out on the field it feels as if he’s playing his first game. He’s never tired, always energetic like a lion. You see a different body language when he enters the ground, something great to learn from him."
Iyer, meanwhile, recalled his maiden IPL season in 2015 where he ended with 439 runs despite fracturing his index finger very early in the campaign and bagged the Emerging Player Award.
"It was a dramatic season. During the season after the third game, I fractured my index finger and thought I won’t be able to play anymore."
"But Gary (Kirsten, the then Delhi head coach) said ‘we really need you’. He wanted me to play and told me ‘hide somewhere while fielding and just bat for us’."
"I could have done anything for the team. To score those many runs with a fractured finger was like a dream come true. Not many know about this story."
In 2018, when Gautam Gambhir let go of the captaincy, Delhi showed trust on Iyer to take over as leader. Under him, the side reached the play-offs after seven seasons last year.
“I knew the situation would come and it would be thrown at me," he said. "I was prepared. I really enjoyed the responsibility coming at the top. We’re youngsters, fearless and showed a lot of maturity as well."
"We had a sense of belief in ourselves and the team. Our aim was to make the play-offs (IPL 2019)," Iyer added. "We had this one goal in our mind — to give our 100 per cent. Results didn’t really matter."
"Once we knew we did our preparation, we should not get bogged down and regret. We trained really hard and that stood out pretty well."
Having come nearer to the trophy, Iyer is backing his team to finally lift it whenever IPL 2020 happens.
"We did and proved that we’re capable of winning the IPL. We hope the fans give the same energy this year. We don’t know what will happen or will it be held closed-door… Hopefully, we will win the trophy this year," he said.
(Inputs from PTI)