Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer - Getty Images

R Sridhar, the former Team India fielding coach has narrated an interesting incident pertaining to Shreyas Iyer’s short-ball woes.

Recalling an incident from India’s tour of South Africa in 2018, R Sridhar stated that Ravi Shastri (who was India’s coach then) realized Shreyas Iyer would have to work very hard against the rising ball after watching one of his dismissals.

R Sridhar.(Twitter)
R Sridhar. (Twitter)

R Sridhar: Ravi Shastri Said Shreyas Iyer Had To Work Hard On Short Ball After His Dismissal Against Proteas In 2018 Tour

Shreyas Iyer has been in the news lately owing to his constant struggles against the short ball. The 27-year-old has been troubled by bouncers across all three formats of the game.

R Sridhar, who was Team India’s fielding coach until the 2021 T20I World Cup in the UAE last year, opened up about the Mumbai cricketer’s troubles against the rising ball.

“It is a very perceived weakness that we all have been seeing at the highest level, not just now. I remember an incident way back in 2018. Shreyas Iyer had made his (ODI) debut against Sri Lanka in India and, quickly after that, we went to South Africa for a multi-format tour.”

Ravi Shastri. (Photo: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo: Twitter)

Shreyas Iyer got an opportunity to play in the ODIs. He was up against pacer Morne Morkel in one of the matches.

Continuing the story, R Sridhar added: “Straightaway, Morkel tested him out with a short ball and he fended it to third man. And Ravi Shastri was sitting beside me. He said, ‘Sri, ye bachcha ko bahut kaam karna padega’ (Sri, this kid will have to work really hard). Ravi Shastri saw just one ball and said that this guy has to work hard against quick, short-pitched bowling.”

The 52-year-old, who has also been Punjab Kings’ (PBKS) bowling coach, pointed out that Shreyas Iyer’s struggles are of greater concern because he does not score a lot of runs against the short ball.

Explaining how Shreyas Iyer’s situation is different from that of Indian captain Rohit Sharma, he elaborated: “Shreyas is not someone who gets a lot of runs on the short ball. Many a times he has got out gloving the ball to the keeper or caught at midwicket or deep square leg. He’s not like Rohit Sharma, who plunders the bowlers on the short ball, but occasionally gets caught at fine leg.”

The elegant batter was not picked in the squad for the upcoming Asia Cup T20 tournament in the UAE. He has been named as one of the three standbys.

R Sridhar: Shreyas Iyer Would Dominate When He Overcomes Weakness Against Short Ball

R Sridhar conceded that Shreyas Iyer would struggle to make an impact in international cricket unless he overcomes his weaknesses. At the same time, he asserted that the right-handed batter would dominate bowlers if he manages to conquer his demons against the short ball.

R Sridhar concluded: “The day he cracks that code of short pitch bowling, bowlers will have nowhere to bowl to him. He is a very good player of all other stuff. It’s only a matter of time. It’s more of a mental thing than anything else.”

Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: Twitter)

During the tour of the West Indies, Shreyas Iyer scored 161 runs in three ODIs at an average of 53.67. In the T20Is, he managed only 98 runs in four games, averaging 24.50.

Shreyas Iyer scored 54 off 57 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes in the 1st ODI against hosts West Indies. In the 2nd ODI, he scored 63 off 71 balls including 4 fours and a six, and was instrumental in India’s win.

In the 3rd ODI, he scored 44 off 34 balls. He amassed 161 runs in the ODI series averaging 53.67 and was the 3rd highest run-getter in the ODI series. However, in T20Is, Shreyas Iyer averages a modest 33.19 in 46 matches with 7 fifties having amassed 1029 runs.

Shreyas Iyer’s half-century as a makeshift opener and some superlative bowling from the spinners gave India a big 88-run win over the West Indies in the fifth and final T20I in Florida. Shreyas Iyer went on to score 64 off 40 balls and found good support from Deepak Hooda, with the duo adding 76 for the second wicket.