In a remarkable display of cricketing prowess, India secured its spot in the semifinals of the Cricket World Cup by defeating Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The emphatic victory, marked by star batter Shreyas Iyer’s remarkable return to form, solidified India’s standing in the tournament.
The highlight of India’s commanding win was Shreyas Iyer’s brilliant performance with the bat. Iyer, who had faced criticism for a series of low scores in the tournament, silenced his critics by scoring 82 runs off just 56 balls. His explosive innings included six towering sixes and three well-timed fours.
One of the issues that had drawn scrutiny was Iyer’s struggle against short-pitched deliveries. To overcome this challenge, he had been seen putting in extra effort during net practice to improve his short-ball game. Iyer had faced difficulties in the past when attempting to pull shots, most notably during the Asia Cup encounter with arch-rival Pakistan.
After his heroics in the India vs. Sri Lanka match, Iyer faced questions from the media regarding his perceived struggle with short-pitched deliveries. In response, Iyer confidently retorted, “When you say it’s a problem for me, what do you mean?” The reporter revised the question, asking, “Not a problem, exactly, but it has troubled you.” Iyer remained assertive, stating, “Troubled me? Have you seen how many pull shots I’ve scored? Especially ones that have gone for four.”
Sunil Gavaskar praises Iyer’s valuable contribution to Team India!
He emphasized that as batters, they can get dismissed by any type of delivery, whether it’s a short ball or an over-pitched one. Iyer stated, “If you’re trying to hit a ball, you’re bound to get out anyway. Regardless of whether it’s a short ball or an over-pitched delivery. 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.”
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar commended Shreyas Iyer’s intent and approach during the match. Gavaskar expressed his belief that Iyer was not playing solely to secure his place in the team but to contribute significantly to the team’s scoreboard. He mentioned, “I think Nasser mentioned earlier that he wasn’t playing for his place in the team. He was looking to get the scoreboard ticking, he was looking to play the big shots. So, he wasn’t concerned about himself.”
Gavaskar went on to acknowledge that there had been questions about Iyer’s place in the team, but his performance in this match laid those doubts to rest. He highlighted Iyer’s ability to accelerate the scoring quickly, making him a valuable asset to the team.
Gavaskar also suggested that Iyer should exercise caution in the early stages of his innings when it comes to shot selection. He emphasized that this was the reason Iyer batted at number four, and not Rahul, who is placed at number five. The reasoning behind this was to have an experienced opener like Rahul ready to handle the new ball if India loses early wickets.
India’s resounding victory over Sri Lanka not only secured their place in the World Cup semifinals but also showcased Shreyas Iyer’s remarkable resurgence, earning praise from cricket legends like Sunil Gavaskar. Iyer’s fearless approach to the game has quashed doubts about his spot in the team, making him a vital asset for India’s World Cup campaign.