I keep telling myself competition is against me, says Shreyas Iyer after scoring century against Australia

I keep telling myself competition is against me, says Shreyas Iyer after scoring century against Australia

Indore, Sep 25 (IANS) Middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer made a resounding statement about his ODI credentials ahead of the World Cup by top-scoring with 105, his first century of the year and third in the format, to set the base for India’s 99-run win over Australia via DLS method at Holkar Stadium.

Iyer, who was out of action due to back surgery and saw his Asia Cup stint being cut short by back spasms, brushed aside question marks over his form and fitness by making a sparkling 105 off 90 balls, with the help of 11 fours and three sixes, fetching him Player of the Match award too.

Talking about his knock, Iyer said he kept telling himself that he has to step up with the competition being against him, owing to the happenings in the last few months on the fitness front and seeing other contenders like KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan boost their credentials with match-winning knocks.

"I keep telling myself competition is against me. It is about the mindset that how I maintain it, especially when the chips are down. I was waiting for this opportunity and thankfully I got to score a century.”

“My mind was fluctuating at times, but I was trying to stay away from the outside noise as much as possible. As they say, ignorance is bliss, so taking one step at a time and staying in the present and not thinking much about what happened and what will happen in the future," said Iyer in post-match press conference.

Iyer trusted the attacking route on a flat pitch, reaching his fifty in 41 balls by smashing a stand-and-deliver six over long-off against Johnson. He got his third ODI century in 86 balls, with the roar in delight showcasing his happiness, as the crowd stood up to applaud a great knock.

“It was definitely a roller coaster ride. I would like to thank myself to be honest to believing in my abilities and mindset at that point of time. I was feeling a bit lonely at that point of time, but thanks to my physios, my trainers, my family for backing me. I am grateful to have them around. All these people around helped me to lift my spirits and stay positive at the same time. So, thankful and grateful at the same time,” he added.

Iyer and Shubman Gill put on a partnership of 200 in only 164 balls for the second wicket, as both batters made hundreds to play leading roles in the run-fest on a flat pitch with small ground dimensions.

"It was one of my finest innings, especially coming out of an injury. I was eagerly waiting to come back and perform for the team. Yes, Shubman Gill is in tremendous form lately and the way he is converting his starts, that is simply phenomenal.”

“I am happy as a team-mate as going forward in the World Cup, we would be needing such starts and he is in a great mind space, the routines that he has been maintaining throughout travelling and recovery, it’s been terrific to see," he said.

With main players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Koli set to return for the final ODI in Rajkot on September 27, Iyer signed off by saying he’s ready to bat anywhere the team management asks him to do so.

“See the management hasn’t told me that I would be batting at this particular number, I’m flexible at whatever number I would be getting to bat. Whatever the team requires at that point of time, if I have to go lower down the order I’m up for that, if I have to go up the order same.”

“But see, there’s competition and that’s the best part about being in the team. You come and represent the Indian team, you know that there would be challenges and as a professional I can’t be complaining about that. All I can say is that I would embrace the opportunity that I would be getting in the future and see to it that I’ll leave no stone unturned in my preparation.”