'It has been a really important last few series for me to set the benchmark at the No. 4 position, which all of us are competing for at the moment'
The talented Shreyas Iyer has received a "heads up" by the Indian team management that he will be the designated No 4 batsman in white-ball format after a string of impressive performances in the past few months.
India tried umpteen players at the number four spot in the lead up to the 50-over World Cup but none of them could cement their place in the team and it was used as a floating position during the mega event as the experiment with Vijay Shankar falling flat.
“For me personally, they (team management) have given me a heads up that 'You'll be there at No.4. So just back yourself and believe in yourself'," Iyer, who smashed 62 off 33 balls including five sixes in the T20 series decider against Bangladesh, said after the match.
"It has been a really important last few series for me to set the benchmark at the No. 4 position, which all of us are competing for at the moment," said Iyer, who scored a couple of half-centuries batting at No 5 in the ODIs against the West Indies.
Iyer will have to be one of the "finishers" in case team's top two batsmen skipper Virat Kohli and deputy Rohit Sharma are dismissed cheaply.
"Even if Kohli and Rohit get out, we need someone to finish the game and bat till the end. That is a No. 4's role. That's what I was trying to replicate today and it worked out really well for me," said the 24-year-old, who has overcome the disappointment of missing out on ODI World Cup berth.
Asked how significant his knock was considering that team is trying out fringe players like him ahead of the World T20 next year, Iyer said: Yes, obviously there is lot of competition going in the team. I personally feel that I compete with myself. I don't want myself to be judged with anyone or when you say that this position is empty in the team.”
While he will be batting at number four for some time now, Iyer is flexible and ready to bat at any position that the team wants him to.
"I am really open-minded and can bat at any number. So I just like to back myself in tough situations and today's innings showed that I can bat under pressure as well.”
In the final T20, Iyer went ballistic after being cautious at the beginning. Four of his five sixes came against the spinners and his knock allowed India to put up a defendable 174 for five.
"The support staff have given me the freedom -- not just me but all the batsmen -- that you need to have that intent when you go in there. And you should feel very positive when you're batting. If the ball pitches in my area, I am not going to control myself. I'll bat according to my instincts."