Shreyas Iyer, whose measured 33-ball 44 helped India take a 2-0 lead over hosts New Zealand, has revealed that playing in the Indian Premier League has taught him the importance of self-belief. Iyer had made his IPL debut back in 2015 and was named the skipper of the Delhi Capitals side last season.
In 2015, a then 21-year-old Shreyas Iyer made the world take notice of who he was with his eloquent strokeplay at the top of the order for the Delhi Daredevils franchise. Following his IPL debut, Iyer then translated that promise into some beastly form in the Ranji Trophy for his state side Mumbai, for whom he had one crazy season in 2014/15 too, and became a regular for his IPL franchise while earning a maiden India cap two years later.
The now 25-year-old was then named the skipper of the Delhi Capitals franchise for the 2019 season, where he successfully led the team to the play-offs, a feat they had not achieved 7 years prior to 2019.
Speaking on the back of the win in the 2nd T20I, Iyer revealed that as a youngster, playing in the IPL has taught him the importance of self-belief and trusting his own ability and further stated that donning the captain’s armband for his side has also helped him mature as a player. He further added that the responsibility of captaining Delhi Capitals has helped him become more confident, thus also resulting in him finishing off matches better.
"To be honest, as a youngster, you get a lot of experience from the IPL. I've been playing for the past 5 years, and right now, captaining the Delhi side has given me more responsibility to finish the game and that confidence is also there when you have really good support staff around when they mentor you really well,” Iyer said in the post-match press conference.
“When you're out there, it's really important for the support staff and the senior players to back you. And that's what I've experienced throughout the five years that no matter what people say, it is important to back yourself and believe in your instincts. Because that's what is going to take you through a long series,” the youngster added.
The task at hand in the second T20I for Iyer was contrasting as compared to the first T20I, with him having to play more within himself to ensure that the team crossed the line safely. Iyer emphasized the importance for middle-order batsmen to be flexible, having the ability to both anchor the innings and accelerate, and also revealed that he tends to see the ball better when he spends more time in the middle, something that he’s managed to do in the first two matches of this series.
"I've mentioned it before as well, it's really important for middle-order batsmen, especially in T20s, to be able to play all sort of shots - singles as well as sixes - because you have to be aware that you've to be able to create the moment for yourself.
“You've to give yourself a bit of time to get set. That's what I usually do. I've realized playing so many matches that the longer I stay in the wicket, I tend to see the ball better, after which I can take on the bowlers"
Whilst the Indian batsmen were set a mammoth target of 204 in the first T20I, today, in the second, it was a mere 133, albeit the wicket being on the slower side. Iyer revealed that the batsmen were able to relax owing to there being no scoreboard pressure at any point in the chase and added that it was important for the men in the middle to keep rotating the strike and pounce on the bowlers when the time came.
"Makes you feel little composed while chasing 130 because at the back of the mind you know that you have to maintain a scoring rate of around 7 and at the same time, you curtail the risk as well. So it was really important for us to keep at the back of the mind to keep rotating the strike and that when the time came, we needed to take charge on the bowlers"