Shreyas Iyer is undoubtedly the batsman to watch out for in the upcoming edition of the IPL. The Mumbai batsman rewrote record books in the recent Ranji Trophy and his exploits in the domestic scene have got him noticed. Who knows, after an outstanding IPL, he might well be on his way to represent the national team? Ahead of the IPL, Iyer spoke to TOI about how he loves to attack and discussed a few more things. Below, are the excerpts from his interview with TOI.
After such a strong first season of Ranji Trophy, what were your expectations for the second year?
To play the same way I did last season. People didn’t believe that the season would go this well for a debutant who scored 800 runs in his first season. They thought that the first season was good so the second one will be tough, because the opposition will be ready and will come at me with certain plans. There were things said like this, but I think I’ve proved them wrong. It was really satisfying.
You scored over 1300 runs this Ranji season at a strike-rate of almost 93. Where does this attacking nature come from?
I believe it’s been there from the start. Whenever I used to play matches as a child, I used to dominate bowlers. I never liked to play slow cricket. I back my instincts and look to play positively from the first ball, whatever the situation is. Even if we are 20 for 2, I just look to go out and back myself to score fast and score big. Play my natural game, don’t let the bowlers get on top of me. That’s how it comes.
What confidence did a good first IPL season give you?
After the IPL, I gained a lot of confidence and then went and played India A matches. I got chances but didn’t use them as best I could, which was disappointing. I got the thirties and forties but wasn’t able to convert them into big scores, so I was disappointed because the season was nearing. But having Rahul Dravid around [as coach of India A] was a great inspiration for me. He gave me positive feedback regarding how to pursue my success in further seasons. It was a great confidence booster when he came to me from the first day and shared tips, and then crucially guided me in how to approach my second season of Ranji Trophy cricket.
What role has the IPL had in shaping your attitude?
I think the IPL has built up a lot of confidence in youngsters. Once you play Under-19 cricket for India, you know you can get into the IPL and perform at that level is a big stage, a quick step into getting into the Indian team. As youngsters, we look at the IPL as a great platform to get into the Indian team and the most important thing for us is to play for your country. The IPL is a fast-track for us.
Which do you prefer facing? Pace or spin?
If it’s white-ball cricket then the seamers, and if it’s the red ball, then spinners.