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Rediff.com  » Cricket » At crossroads of his Test career, Iyer 'thrives on competition'

At crossroads of his Test career, Iyer 'thrives on competition'

Source: PTI
January 15, 2024 20:19 IST
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'It's important to take one match at a time, not think about five-match Test series (against England). The team is only for the first two games. The motto would be to perform in the first two games and then look forward to the rest of the games.'

Shreyas Iyer says he was asked to play the Ranji Trophy match to test his fitness 

IMAGE: Shreyas Iyer says he was asked to play the Ranji Trophy match to test his fitness. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images from the Rediff Archives 

Shreyas Iyer is neither losing sleep over being snubbed for the Afghanistan T20s nor is he overtly worried about the upcoming England Test series after a forgettable run in South Africa.

Iyer was not picked for the ongoing T20 series against Afghanistan and people in know of things said that his missing out had more to do with Indian top-order being stacked with right-handers.

 

"See, right now I'm being in the present. I have finished the match which I was asked to play (Ranji game against Andhra). I came, and I executed, so I am happy with what I'm doing.

"Something that is not in my control, I can't be focusing on that. Coming here and winning the match was my focus and that's what we did today," Iyer told reporters after Mumbai's emphatic win.

Iyer, after a poor series in South Africa where he seemed like a 'walking wicket', was instructed by selectors to go and play Ranji Trophy for Mumbai as he is a part of the Test team.

Iyer scored a run-a-ball 48 as Andhra bowlers tried to exploit his weakness against short ball.

Asked about the Test series, Iyer replied he isn't looking that far ahead.

"It's important to take one match at a time, not think about five-match Test series. The team is only for the first two games. The motto would be to perform in the first two games and then look forward to the rest of the games."

Iyer, a master player of slow bowling, is expecting turners against England with first Test starting on January 25.

What Iyer found most satisfying during 145 plus overs of fielding, across two Andhra innings, was his fitness.

"I'm assuming that we would be getting turning wickets against England. But other than that, it was just for my match fitness, to stay on the field as long as possible, that's what mainly I was focusing on because especially after my injury, it has been tough for me to stick on the outfield for long. So this was great practice for me."

Iyer's Test career is at the crossroads and there are no guarantees if he would be able to hold on to his place.

"It's fun. I love competition, and when competition is there, you face more challenges. And that's what I thrive on personally. So I enjoy having competition around because then you can go at each other and also against the opponents to show your talent and skills."

On the Ranji match against Andhra in which Mumbai cruised to 10-wicket victory over Andhra, Iyer said that he would attack irrespective of match situation just like he did on the first day.

"I'm going to play attacking irrespective of the situation. And also, when you bowl negative, when you bowl safe and defensive at the start, you want to score runs and you need to take your team through up to a certain point.

"So that was my mindset and that's why stuck with. Yeah, I was happy irrespective of the score," he said.

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