“Turned A Deaf Ear On Outside Talk”: Shryeas Iyer On Short-Ball Issues

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The constant talk about his apparent weakness against short-pitched delivery did affect him at one point of time but Shreyas Iyer on Friday said that he turned a “deaf ear” to outside comments and focussed on taking corrective measures which is yielding results. Iyer, who scored 87 off 105 balls to take India out of trouble in the second Test against Bangladesh here, was targeted for a brief period with short balls by the home side bowlers. He said he was confident of doing well against the tactics as he had done a lot of practice.

“The (Bangladesh) bowlers started targeting me (with short balls) when I came to bat. When the ball was seaming, they were bowling short balls,” Iyer said at the press conference at the end of second day’s play.

Iyer had also scored 86 in India’s lone innings in the 188-run win in the first Test in Chattogram.

Asked about outside talk about his weakness against short balls, he said, “That (short ball issue) has been something the commentators talk about. Off-the-field, people keep saying that I have that issue. It had gone into my head at some point in time. But if I leave (the ball) or keep it down, I don’t have any problem. Runs were not coming (against short balls), that was the situation.

For him, it was important to shut the outside noise.

“It does play in the mind of a batter when people from outside talk about issues and it’s important as a player to turn a deaf ear to them. The rest will take care of itself. At the end of the day, ignorance is bliss,” said the 28-year-old right-handed batter.

Iyer said there was no change in his approach and he continued with the way he had batted in the first Test. “When I went in to bat, the ball was not turning that much and that was the communication I had with Rishabh. I was just trying to play the line of the ball, very much similar to how I played in Chattogram.

“The fast bowlers were operating from one end and my mind set was to just play the session out and see how it goes. Obviously, at the same time, I’m not going to restrict my strokes, if I see the ball pitching in my area, I’m going to go for it. I backed myself today and thankfully got a good score.” Iyer also defended himself for getting out while playing a sweep shot, saying he went with his natural instincts.

“Today, I went with my instincts. Sweep shot was something I have been trying in the nets. I could execute the first one well, but the second one stayed a bit low.

“But I don’t regret (getting out) because I was doing a lot of practice (for sweep shots) and my natural instinct stook over in that situation and I played that shot.

“I could not execute well but it does not matter, next time it will come good. My decision making was decisive.” Asked if he was disappointed at not getting a hundred, Iyer said, “Definitely, it hurts as a batsman but at the same time I looked at it in a positive way.

“I went there in a tough situation and was able to bring the team out of it. That is more important for me than getting personal landmark.” He also said that Pant’s “phenomenal” innings of 93 off just 105 balls eased the pressure on the other end.

“It (Rishabh’s innings) was a phenomenal knock. He is such an aggressive batter. In the end, it takes two to tango,” Iyer said.

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