Shreyas Iyer, India’s middle-order batsman sees Australia’s plan to adopt the short-ball strategy against him as an opportunity to score runs freely.
In the first two ODIs, Shreyas Iyer walked in at crease in the middle against fast bowlers who had on both occasions, bowled to him with a short leg and leg gully catching which was a clear method to bowl rising deliveries at his body.
Shreyas Iyer Know Australians Planned Against Him
He was dismissed first off a steep bouncer and the next time off a slower one. But Shreyas Iyer suggested that it was a bit of an honour that Australia were plotting against him. He scored 2 in the first ODI before being caught by Alex Carey off Josh Hazlewood while trying to pull a bouncer but changed his mind later. Shreyas Iyer scored 38 in 2nd match but gave a catch to Steve Smith off a slower ball by Moises Henriques.
“I definitely know that they’ve planned against me,” he said, “so I’m really happy. At least they’re coming up with a plan against me to get me out. I feel very overwhelmed and take it as a challenge because, you see, I thrive under pressure. And also, it really motivates to go against them. They set attacking fields which really helps me to score runs, so I take advantage of that and I see to it that I make the best use of it.”
Shreyas Iyer made 38 at just over run-a-ball in the second ODI, having come in during the ninth over with a plan that seemed to be centred on getting inside the line of the short bowling and hitting through the offside.
Without being too convincing, he took on spinners Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell in the middle overs. This was unlike the first ODI when Shreyas Iyer was caught by the keeper as he was more than one mind to leave the ball or not off the second ball of his innings.
“I knew the short ball was going to come so I was in two minds,” Iyer said of that dismissal. “I was thinking of pulling and at the same time I have the upper cut. I got stuck in between two shots and I couldn’t play the shot. So maybe that’s the reason I got stuck in one place; and the ball came and hit the middle of the bat even that time.”
“In the second match, I was just like – look at the ball and react. You can actually predict, once you are set, what the bowler is going to bowl, so I usually give myself time at the start and that’s what I applied in the second match and it really worked out well.”
“We’re working on some routines and processes which haven’t gone well for us in the last few games. And I’m sure it’s just the transition phase from T20 to one-dayers – it’s really difficult, especially for the bowlers coming in and bowling ten overs on the trot”
Shreyas Iyer has 788 runs in 20 ODI matches averaging 46.35 with 1 hundred and 8 fifties. He had scored his only ton in India’s previous ODI series in New Zealand in the 1st ODI in February 2020.
Shreyas Iyer On The Indian Bowling Attack
Shreyas Iyer is on his first consistent run with the Indian side after debuting in 2017 and has impressed in the No. 4 role that was given to him after last year’s World Cup. Shreyas Iyer has played only 9 ODIs in India while 11 matches have come in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and West Indies. He said this test of his technique was not something that would compel him to make too many tweaks mid-tour.
“I feel that it’s just the mindset which you need to adjust,” he said. “[I’ve] been playing for so many years… obviously it’s my first time playing in Australia and on these wickets. We all know that the wickets are bouncy and the bowlers are only going to bowl to you in the body area and the short balls are going to come to you. Rather than bending down too much, it’s really important that you stand upright and play the ball, so that it’s easy to pick the short ones as well. And if they come up with that field, it’s really important that I get aggressive as well because with that [field set], it’s really easy to manipulate the field.”
A more immediate factor contributing to the rustiness of Indian players were the conditions. Acclimatizing to Australia, having come from the UAE, and then practising on pitches that he called “completely different” from the ones in the two games so far, have all contributed to the challenge for batsmen and the bowlers too according to Shreyas Iyer.
“If you see the amount of workload they’ve gone through in the IPL – playing 14 games – and after that they’ve come here and stayed in quarantine – definitely it plays on your mind. And it plays with every individual in the team, it’s not just the bowlers,” he said.
“We’re working on some routines and processes which haven’t gone well for us in the last few games. And I’m sure it’s just the transition phase from T20 to one-dayers – it’s really difficult, especially for the bowlers coming in and bowling ten overs on the trot. There are many more matches coming ahead and I’m sure they’ll come back really strong and with a positive frame of mind.”
Shreyas Iyer has played in 20 ODIs and 22 T20Is. He averages a modest 27.8 in T20Is despite a high 46.4 in ODIs.