A session with Sachin Tendulkar before the start of the Ranji Trophy season proved to be of “immense help” for young Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer, who is being touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket.
“When Sachin sir dropped in at the Mumbai nets this season, I asked him about a specific technical problem that I was encountering. I told him that while going back and across, my shoulder tends to open up and I wanted to correct it. He advised me corrective measures. The most important of them was to stay on the front foot,” Shreyas, who is the leading run-scorer in Ranji Trophy, told PTI during an interaction.
With 930 runs at a staggering average of 71.53 and even mind boggling strike rate of nearly 96 has made Shreyas the most talked about player on the domestic circuit.
“Before the start of the season, I was made aware about how second season for a player becomes more important after a good first season. I had scored over 800 runs in my debut season and I had set a target of 1000 runs for this season. I knew bowlers will study and analyse my game after the first season and accordingly I worked on my game. I am happy that I have had a good season so far,” the 21-year-old said.
Not every player get to interact with Sachin and then get Rahul Dravid as a coach and Shreyas considers himself lucky that he was under former India captain’s tutelege while playing for India A.
“Rahul sir told me that I should always concentrate on the process. Focus on improving everyday, learning something new. Initially, I was a bit sad that I got a few starts for India A (couple of 40’s) but could not convert it. But then I realised that I cannot sit back and think about what’s gone. Then my focus shifted to Ranji Trophy. I worked hard on my game, spoke to my coach Amre sir (Praveen Amre). Since he has seen me from childhood, he knows my game inside out,” the confident youngster said.
However, Shreyas hasn’t got much chance to talk about batting with Amre’s more illustrious student Ajinkya Rahane.
“Well, I haven’t got a chance to speak to him much as he has been on tour of late.
The double hundred against Punjab is a knock that Shreyas cherishes.
“It was indeed a special knock. More so because I was able to score 200 runs in a single day. I was able to dominate the bowling and this was the kind of knock at the outset, which gave me a lot of confidence,” he said.
With Ranji Trophy quarter-finals scheduled to be held after Vijay Hazare Trophy, will this break affect his momentum now that he is only 70 runs shy of a 1000-run season? His answer was as attacking as his batting.
“Not at all as my game has been same across all formats so I have never had any problems with that,” he replied.
Does he fancy a chance of making it to the 30-member probables for the World T20 next year, he gave another straightforward reply.
“Obviously, I will be happy if I make it as that’s the ultimate dream but that is not in my hands. My job is to score runs and I would rather concentrate on that,” he concluded.