Shreyas Iyer said that a change in captaincy at the Delhi Capitals hasn't affected his role as a batsman. Iyer, who had missed out of the IPL 2021 first half with a shoulder injury, excelled on his return, scoring with a fluent 41-ball 47* against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday.
Shreyas Iyer had dislocated his left-shoulder during India's home ODI series against England earlier this year, following which, he was sidelined from the game for six months. With uncertainty over his fitness, he was named as one of the three reserves in India's T20 World Cup squad earlier this month.
With Iyer unavailable, Rishabh Pant took over as Delhi Capitals' captain in IPL first half, and retained his role in the UAE leg despite the former captain's return. However, Iyer stated that he respected the decision, and that the change in role hasn't affected his role as one of team's premier batsmen. The right-hander scored an unbeaten 47 to guide his team to an eight-wicket win against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday.
"Look when I got the captaincy, I was in a really different frame of mind," Iyer said. "My decision making and temperament were very good and that helped me in the last two years. Change in captaincy is part of the decision making of the franchise and whatever decision they took, I respect that. Rishabh has been leading well since the start of the season, so they must have thought they'd continue him till the end of the season
"For me, there's no drastic change that I am more focused during batting now as compared to when I was captain. I like soaking the pressure, when there's pressure the challenges increase and I try to get myself in the mindset that I perform well when the going's tough. When I went in today, there was some pressure to win the game and the wicket was also playing uneven. Mindset was that I have to finish the game as one of the main members of the team. Whenever I play, my aim is to play until the last ball and take my team to victory."
Iyer had led the Delhi Capitals to the play-offs in 2019, and went one better in 2020, finishing runners-up, having lost to Mumbai Indians in the final. The 26-year-old spoke about his ever positive approach to batting, and is hopeful of guiding his team to their maiden IPL championship this time around.
"I know my role pretty well. It is always based on the situation," Iyer said. "But my intent has always been positive. And I see to it that I have that aggressive nature when I step onto the wicket, you know, irrespective of the situation we are facing. And you know, I've been maintaining that rhythm right from the start. Even before my injury, I was in that frame of mind and I'm still continuing with the same approach. And my routines and process have been on point so you know, the preparation or the boxes that are ticked before coming here, that really states that I'm in a great frame of mind and I have to just keep backing my instincts and that's what I've been doing.
"And this is just the first game. It's a long leg and hopefully you know why I keep performing the way I'm doing right now and see to it that we will lift the championship."
The Capitals, placed at the top of the points table with seven wins from nine games, will play Rajasthan Royals on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.