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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

On 'Stealing' Virat Kohli's No. 3 Spot, Shreyas Iyer's Mic Drop Statement


After slamming a century to set up India's 99-run win in the second ODI against Australia, comeback man Shreyas Iyer on Sunday opened up about his long-injury lay-off, saying he was in a "lonely space" during that rollercoaster phase in his career. Iyer, who had to undergo a back surgery and was out of action for six months, slammed 105 off 90 balls to take India to a massive 399 for 5 against Australia here, which eventually led the hosts to a series sealing victory.


"It was a rollercoaster ride. I've been working so hard the last few months, and I was in a lonely space," Iyer, who was adjudged the player of the match, said at the post-match presentation.


The 28-year-old returned to the team at the Asia Cup but a back spasm in the middle of the tournament meant he only got to bat only once over the course of two weeks.

"Excited to be back and I am enjoying the atmosphere in the dressing room. I was seeing matches on TV and wanted to be out there.

"I had belief in myself. I knew what I was aiming for and glad I was able to execute my plans today," he added.


Talking about his strategy against the Aussies, Iyer said: "My plan was to play in the V and not complicate things. I was batting brilliantly in the nets. I'm happy to bat in any position. Whatever the team requires. Virat (Kohli) is one of the greats, there's no chance of stealing that (number 3) spot from him. I just need to keep scoring wherever (at any position) I bat."

The stand-in skipper KL Rahul said he was a bit surprised to see the wicket spin in the second half.


"When I saw the wicket in the morning, I didn't think it would spin so much. Putting 400 on the board gives you confidence," he said.

India's batting is shaping up well as they won the match despite the absence of senior players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, which also left them with a problem of plenty.


Asked if it is a challenge to pick the playing XI, Rahul said: "It's not really our decision to make. Our jobs are clear. Everyone who gets picked in the XI, needs to focus on their job.

"Everyone has gone through this, you need to keep getting better and wait for the opportunities." Talking about India's sloppy fielding, Rahul said: "We have dropped a few catches, but fielding under lights, it's physically challenging. The coaches are doing their best to keep the guys fit. Sometimes these errors happen.


"The commitment is always there. We'll learn from it, brush it off and get better in the next game." Asked if India will field their A team in the final ODI after the rested players are back, Rahul said: "Nothing is discussed, but guys coming back will want to make it count.

"With the World Cup only a couple of weeks away, guys will want to get into it. They need to get used to the challenges, they will be keen to get back onto the field." The loss left Australia nursing their fifth straight ODI defeat and stand-in captain Steve Smith said they need to sort out a few things to turn things around ahead of the World Cup.

"We have lost quite a few (matches) in a row, in South Africa and here. We need to sort out a few things, hopefully we turn it around in the next game.

"We have a few days now, we are working towards the World Cup, both the teams are. Hopefully we'll turn it around in the last game."

Prize money for ground staff

The Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) on Sunday announced Rs 11 lakh for the ground staff for keeping the Holkar Stadium ground match ready despite two rain breaks.


“In appreciation of a great coordinated effort to enable the game today, the ground staff will get Rs 11 lakh prize," announced Abhilash Khandekar, the MPCA president.

It is also a happy turnaround for them as the pitch at the venue had received poor rating from the International Cricket Council (ICC) after a low-scoring Test between India and Australia in March earlier this year. PTI ATK UNG

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