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Rahul Dravid Has Taught Me to Keep Calm & Focus on Scoring Runs: Shreyas Iyer

Baidurjo Bhose |Cricketnext | Updated: October 17, 2017, 11:34 AM IST
Rahul Dravid Has Taught Me to Keep Calm & Focus on Scoring Runs: Shreyas Iyer

Shreyas Iyer (left) speaks to India skipper Virat Kohli. (AFP)

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New Delhi: Shreyas Iyer’s last five scores read 65, 108, 82, 90 and 37. And these innings have not come against India’s domestic state teams. They have been scored against the ‘A’ teams of South Africa and New Zealand. Before this, he had scored an unbeaten double ton against the visiting Australian side in February. No wonder then that questions aimed at him start on lines of if he is frustrated at not getting the national selectors’ nod.

But the Mumbai batsmen isn’t perturbed by all the selection talks. Speaking to CricketNext Shreyas says he feels just one step away from donning the national cap. And the man behind this calm composure is none other than coach Rahul Dravid who has instilled in him the need to stay focused and not get distracted by matters not in his control.

“Dravid Sir is an amazing personality. He is the reason behind all the success that the ‘A’ team has achieved in recent times. More than anything, it is his man-management skills that makes you want to sit and imbibe as much as you can. He has taught me the importance of keeping calm and not react. With time, I have realised that my job is to keep doing the basics right and the rest shall be taken care of. In fact, I feel like I am one step away from making my senior team debut,” he said.

Asked if getting called as a replacement for the injured Virat Kohli — during the final Test against Australia in Dharamasala — and then not getting picked has in any way soared his spirit, the batsman said: “I feel like I am very much part of the team. The team has some quality batsmen at present, but I know my time will come and I just need to be patient and score runs consistently.”

The current team management is known to be very transparent in its ways, so has Shreyas had a word with Kohli or any coach about his position, the batsman answers in the negative.

“I am not someone who believes in getting into other people’s space. I like doing my own job and the interactions that I have had with the members of the senior team has been more about trying to learn from them and not about my position in the pecking order,” he said.

Another interesting aspect that players now need to be aware about is their fitness. Senior campaigners have recently been in the news for being ignored after they failed the ‘yo-yo’ test. But Shreyas feels fitness is as integral a part of a cricketer’s game as batting, bowling and fielding.

“I think fitness is of prime importance and try and work on my own fitness whenever I am not playing out in the middle. I feel that with the rigours of international cricket at present, staying fit is very important if you wish to succeed in all the three formats. It always helps when you have a role model like skipper Kohli to look upto,” the 22-year-old said.

Critics have often said that playing for a more successful IPL team could have helped Shreyas rise through the ranks faster. But the Delhi Daredevils batsman begs to differ.

“While I would not like to contradict anyone, I like to look at this team as one which has given me a lot of opportunities over the years. For me, the platform and opportunity is more important than anything. I have been given the freedom to go out and express myself and that is very important for me,” he reveals.

Finally, with the Ranji Trophy underway, Mumbai will once again be expected to lift the trophy. But Shreyas feels that the team will need to take one step at a time as most of the players are currently not available for the domestic powerhouse.

“We need to take one game at a time and first look at qualifying for the knockout stages. Some of us are currently away playing for Board President’s XI — Shreyas is leading the team against the touring New Zealand outfit — so Mumbai will start cautiously. But once we are done with our commitment, we will be back playing for the Mumbai team,” he signed off.
First Published: October 17, 2017, 11:26 AM IST
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