Pink Ball Test: Rohit Sharma ‘very impressed’ with Shreyas Iyer’s performance on a difficult pitch
Bengaluru : On the pitch at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium for the second Test between India and Sri Lanka, it were mostly the batters who looked to attack frequently rather than defend. This was precisely what Shreyas Iyer did in his Player of the Match performance against Sri Lanka in the pink-ball affair.In the first innings, Iyer raced to 20 off 19, then brought up his fifty in 54 balls and eventually made 92 off 98 balls in an attacking show laced with ten fours and four sixes. In the second innings, Iyer didn’t allow the Sri Lankan spinners to get the better of him, making 67 off 87 balls comprising nine boundaries. The impact of his twin fifties in India’s 238-run win on a difficult pitch left captain Rohit Sharma ‘very impressed’.”Very impressed with his performance. Not easy to play on these kinds of pitches, especially when you are playing your third or fourth Test match; it’s never easy. I thought he showed a lot of composure and understood exactly what he wanted to do on that pitch. It was very clear from the outside also that he had a plan,” said Sharma in the post-match virtual press conference.
What impressed Sharma even more was the temperament and clarity Iyer showed in both of his knocks at Bengaluru. “To have that kind of mindset for someone who’s probably playing his fourth Test match, it shows a lot of maturity and understanding about his own game, which is a good sign for us moving forward. Batting at number six in these conditions is never easy. The game is always in the balance and can shift either way in that position. He grabbed that opportunity really well and made it count.”Earlier, in the post-match presentation ceremony, Iyer gave an insight into his attacking approach in the match, where he didn’t care about getting his second Test century in the first innings and the want to bat more balls in the second essay. “That wasn’t my normal approach, but I saw the batters struggling, so I knew I had to be attacking and put the pressure back on the bowlers. I was batting on 55 when the bowlers came in, and then I added around 40 more runs.””I could have got out earlier as well, so didn’t worry about the hundred. I just wanted to bat as many balls as possible (in the second innings), knew that I had some support down the order with Shami and Bumrah. I have always dreamt about playing Test cricket for India, good feeling to come and contribute, want to keep this going.”If Iyer continues to show the maturity and sortedness seen on a difficult pitch at Bengaluru in future, then Sharma has got more chances to be ‘very impressed’ by his fellow Mumbaikar’s batting.