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‘Overwhelmed’ to see Australia have prepared a plan for me: Shreyas Iyer

Cricket   |   December 2, 2020

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Indian batsman Shreyas Iyer is quite overwhelmed to see that Australia have devised a short-ball strategy to counter him on this tour. Josh Hazlewood dismissed him with a bounce in the first ODI and he was troubled once again by the same approach in the second match as well. However, Iyer believes it can be tackled best with a counter-offensive approach along with taking the field placements into account.

“I am really happy that they are coming up with a plan (against me),” Iyer said on the eve of the third ODI when asked about the home team short-ball strategy against him.

“I feel overwhelmed and take it as a challenge. But I thrive under pressure and it motivates me to go against them. I feel it (a short leg and leg gully) helps to take advantage and score more runs and make best use of it,” said India’s number four batsman.

Iyer also mentioned that playing the short ball is all about mindset for him. He does need to make some adjustments while practicing in the nets, though.

“It’s all about mind-set that you need to adjust. How you need to place yourself on the wicket. Rather than bending down too much (during stance), you stand upright. It easier to pick up the short one. I have set a pattern for myself. Every time I play, I give myself a little bit of time and get set. If they come up with that field (for short ball), I get aggressive as well. Because that kind of field is easy to manipulate,” Iyer said.

He also agreed that it was his confusion in shot selection that led to his downfall in the first ODI. Even though he did seem uncomfortable in the second ODI as well, he focused on watching the ball and playing it on its merit.

“I knew that short ball was going to come. I got in two frame of minds, thinking of pulling and at the same time I had this upper cut shot. I got stuck in between two thoughts and couldn’t play the shot.”

“It was easy to do that rather than thinking about what the bowler is going to do. I like to give myself some time at the beginning. In that way, if you are set, you can predict what the bowler is trying to bowl,” he said.

Iyer also went on to speak about the different nature of pitches in the UAE and in Australia. Adapting to the change has been quite challenging for the players as they had played on low-bounce pitches in the UAE and now they are playing on the Australian decks, which have spongy tennis ball bounce.

“The wickets at practice was different (in terms of bounce) from the match. It’s taking time to acclimatise but it’s a challenge. I am enjoying that challenge.”

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