Dealing with frequent injuries can be a daunting challenge for any athlete, but Shreyas Iyer’s unwavering self-belief propelled him through a challenging phase and led to a remarkable comeback in international cricket. After undergoing a back surgery and six months of recovery, Iyer’s return to competitive cricket during the Asia Cup was marked by a back spasm that allowed him just one brief batting opportunity over two weeks. However, that lone chance against Pakistan provided him with a glimmer of hope and confidence.
In a recent ODI against Australia, Iyer seized the opportunity to shine, cementing his place in India’s middle-order lineup for the upcoming World Cup. His stellar performance yielded a match-winning 105 runs from 90 balls.
Belief in His Abilities
Iyer expressed his determination to stage a strong comeback, stating, “I was desperate to come back and come back strong. I was waiting to convert the starts which I got in the previous games. Today I got the opportunity, and I am grateful.” He emphasised that he never doubted his abilities, citing his impressive form in the nets and a promising start against Pakistan. For Iyer, it was only a matter of time before he executed his skills on the field.
Acknowledging the stiff competition for a spot in India’s middle-order lineup for the World Cup, Iyer remained composed even during challenging times. Despite missing most of the Asia Cup, he remained focused on maintaining the right mindset and blocking out external distractions. He reflected, “Competition is against me. It is about the mindset that I maintain, especially when the chips are down.”
A Roller Coaster Journey
Iyer’s journey to redemption was undoubtedly a roller coaster ride. He expressed his gratitude for the unwavering support of his physios, trainers, and family during this challenging period. The experience taught him the importance of self-belief and staying present, regardless of past setbacks.
Describing his match-winning century as one of his finest innings, Iyer emphasized the significance of performing after recovering from an injury. He highlighted the value of these pre-World Cup games, considering his limited playing time leading up to the tournament.
Commendation for Shubman Gill
Iyer also praised his teammate Shubman Gill, with whom he built a formidable partnership of 200 runs. Gill’s consistency and ability to convert starts into significant contributions have been noteworthy, setting a positive tone for India’s World Cup preparations.
“Yes Shubman Gill is in tremendous form lately and the way he is converting his starts is simply phenomenal. In the World Cup, we will be needing such starts and he is in a great mind space, the routines that he has been maintaining throughout travelling and recovery.”, Iyer mentioned.
Australia’s World Cup Preparations
Although Australia has faced recent defeats in the ODI series, Iyer believes they are approaching these games as valuable practice matches to build momentum. He emphasised that Australia‘s team management is likely experimenting with combinations and giving players opportunities to adapt to Indian conditions. Despite their recent struggles, Iyer cautioned against underestimating Australia, acknowledging their potential to pose challenges.
Towards the end of his sensational innings, Iyer battled cramps but showed determination by returning to the field for Australia’s innings. Despite the physical discomfort, he maintained his resilience and commitment to the game.