Khadoos — a term, we typically use to define a Mumbai batsman. The word refers to someone with a lot of guts and who knows how to make the best use of an opportunity. Well, while coming through the annals of the highly competitive cricketing structure of Mumbai, a player automatically learns this ‘Khadoos’ attitude and Shreyas Iyer is no exception.
On a chilly afternoon at Mohali on Wednesday (December 13) the youngster showed his Khadoos-ness by scoring a timely 70-ball 88 in his second innings at the One-Day International (ODI) level. Though during the Indian innings, Rohit Sharma was the talk of the town for his unprecedented third double ton in ODIs, but away from all the limelight young Shreyas, played a perfect foil to his skipper and Mumbai teammate.
Like many of his contemporaries, Shreyas too has reached the highest stage after toiling hard at the age-group and domestic level. Since his early days, the youngster attracted a lot of eyeballs with his classy stroke-play and flair. Interestingly, at the domestic and India A level, Shreyas has a made reputation for himself for being a crisis man, someone who thrives under pressure. Probably, this is one reason why the selectors have fast-tracked him to the national side.
He made his national debut in the T20I series against New Zealand earlier this season. And now the 23-year old has been given an opportunity in this series as a replacement of Virat Kohli.
Like a typical modern-day batsman, Shreyas likes to maintain a high strike-rate rate across formats. He can take the game away fairly quickly. In fact, on during the most part of his knock at Mohali, Shreyas had a better strike-rate than Rohit.
Remember, it was a pressure game for Shreyas. Following the failure in his ODI debut at Dharamshala, the youngster knew, he had to make an impression here to stay in the scheme of things. When someone like Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul are not featuring on a regular basis in this high-profile India batting line-up, then it is crystal clear that the competition for a spot is immense and one won’t get too many opportunities to prove himself.
Under pressure, the youngster came out and just trusted his instincts to express himself.
“I was just being a spectator at the non-striker’s end after getting to my 50. Just happy to give the strike to him. It was just the Rohit Sharma show thereafter. We batted well in the nets yesterday and it felt good. I took the confidence out there in the middle and it worked. Just backed my instincts, expressed myself,” a relieved Shreyas was saying after his innings.
— Jagannath Panigrahi (@jpbapu86) December 13, 2017
Yes, earlier Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit laid the platform with a 115-run opening stand, but it needed mature head to build the innings from that position. Any inexperienced cricketer could have carried away and lost his focus on that situation. But not Shreyas, who showed maturity to capitalize on that opportunity – a typical Khadoos attitude.
He took good 10-15 balls to get into his groves and when he did, it was a treat to watch.
When Rohit slowed down, Shreyas took charge of the innings, allowing his senior partner a smooth passage to reach his 16th ODI century. He displayed some strong bottom-handed power-hitting. There was also those crispy late-cuts and touch play which we normally associate with a Shreyash Iyer innings.
He eventually hold-out at deep mid-wicket for 88, an innings that featured nine fours and two sixes, in the 46th over. Ideally, a hundred would have been a cherry on top of the cake, but Shreyas was playing for the team and was trying to get runs quickly.
“I guess I got a bit lazy during that phase and maybe should have carried on further. But I guess it’s part and parcel of the game,” when a youngster can stay so calm and composed after narrowly missing a ton in his second ODI innings, then it should be assumed that he has a bright future ahead.
Hope the spark we have seen in Shreyas on Wednesday will be ignited in the near future.