Playing his first game in six months, Shreyas Iyer had “a really good feeling” after scoring an unbeaten 47 off 41 balls on a pitch which was best suited for bowlers.
Chasing 135 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, he first added 52 in 48 balls with Shikhar Dhawan and then took the side home with an unbroken 67-run stand off 42 balls with Rishabh Pant. However, Iyer wasn’t satiated with his performance.
“I wouldn’t say I am satisfied because the hunger has gone up,” he said after the game. “The appetite keeps on increasing with every match you play. So I am not satisfied or content.”
Iyer was making a comeback from the shoulder injury he suffered during the home series against England in March. He had to undergo surgery, which forced him to be left out of the first leg of the IPL as well as a proposed stint with Lancashire.
It also meant Iyer lost DC’s captaincy to Pant. Even after he returned for the UAE leg, the franchise decided to continue with Pant as captain. While Iyer no longer has that added responsibility, it doesn’t necessarily mean his focus on his batting has increased drastically.
Iyer talks about DC’s captaincy
“When I was given the captaincy, I was in a different frame of mind,” he said. “My decision-making and the temperament level were really good and that had benefitted me in the last two years. But I respect the franchise’s decision. And if you see, Rishabh has been leading really well from the start of the season.
“It hasn’t changed anything drastically for me that my focus on my batting has increased many times. When I was the captain… I like to soak in the pressure. Whenever there is pressure, there is a challenge, and I do well when there’s a challenge.
“Even today when I went in, the pressure was there to win the game for the side as the wicket was a bit uneven. My mindset was the same, that being a main part of the team, I have to finish the game. Whenever I play, my mindset is to stay there till the end and see to it that I make the team win.”
“My batting role is always based on the situation”
Iyer came in to bat with Capitals’ in a poor situation on 20 for 1 in the third over on a used pitch. While it wasn’t particularly a fluent knock, Iyer said his role with the bat is still the same even after his return.
“My role is always based on the situation but my intent has always been positive. I see to it that I have that aggressive nature when I step on to the field irrespective of the situation. Even before my injury, I was in that frame of mind and I am still continuing with the same approach.
“My routine and process have been on point. During my preparation, I ticked all the boxes before coming here, which tells that I am in a great state of mind. I keep backing my instincts… that’s what I have been doing. This was just the first game. It’s a long leg and hopefully, I will keep performing in the same way and see to it that we win the championship.”