Mumbai, Nov 2 (SocialNews.XYZ) Indian middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer on Thursday refuted that he had trouble negotiating the short ball and said he had no extra determination to score at Mumbai, his home ground.
Iyer, who was out for six months because of an injury he suffered earlier in the year, scored his second half-century of the 2023 ICC Men's ODI World Cup against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium, helping the team post a total of 357/8 after being asked to bat first by Sri Lanka skipper Kusal Mendis.
Iyer scored a 56-ball 82 after Shubman Gill (92) and Virat Kohli (88) had set the platform for a big score. During his knock of 82, Iyer hammered three boundaries and six maximums, employing the pull shot repeatedly.
So, he reacted strongly when he was asked about his troubles with the short ball.
"Troubled me? Have you seen how many pull shots I've scored? Especially, which has gone for four.
"If you're trying to hit a ball, you're bound to get out anyway. Irrespective it's a short ball, it's an over pitch. If I get bowled two or three times, you all would say that, OK, he can't play an in-swinging ball. He can't play a cut if a ball is seeming," Iyer said during the post-match press conference on Thursday.
He said the media have created this impression that he can't play the short ball.
"So, see, we, as players are bound to get out on any sort of deliveries. You guys have created that environment outside that he can't play a short ball. And I feel that people are picking that up every now and then and it plays on your mind regularly and you keep working on that," said Iyer.
The 28-year-old right-hand batter from Mumbai said he knows how to tackle the short ball as he has played the majority of his cricket at the Wankhede.
"Coming from Mumbai, especially from Wankhede, where the bounce is pretty much even and it bounces way more than any other pitches. So, I've played the majority of my games here, so I know how to tackle it. It's just that when I go to hit some shots, you are bound to get out and sometimes it may work, sometimes it may not. And majority of the times it hasn't worked for me, maybe that's the reason you think it's a problem for me. But in my mind, I know there's no problem," said Iyer.
Iyer has missed many matches this year because of a back problem and therefore was happy to get back into the team that has reached the World Cup semifinal.
"Yes, I was longing to come back to the team and looking at this play on TV, it was a difficult situation or position to be in. I am thankful for where I am and I also want to thank myself for working hard to be here with the team.
"I know the grind and the preparation I went through before coming here. It was intense. And also, the people who supported me through this journey, I would just like to thank them for being there for me and supporting me through thick and thin," said Iyer.