Following his team’s 70-run win over New Zealand in the semifinals of the ICC Cricket World Cup, Indian middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer has said that the backing from coach Rahul Dravid and skipper Rohit Sharma has been pivotal for him and he faces Jasprit Bumrah in the nets for preparation. Mohammed Shami’s seven-wicket haul and Virat Kohli’s record 50th ODI century were the highlights as India secured a 70-wicket win over New Zealand in the semifinals of the Cricket World Cup at Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.
“Rohit sets the template, gives us the starts where we have to just go and carry forward from the base he gives. He is a fearless captain. You can see that in his body language and it’s kind of infectious, rubs off on all the players,” told Iyer to Star Sports.
“(On the backing from the management) It is pivotal, coming from the captain and coach. I did not have a great start to the World Cup. They told me not to worry about the outside noise, we are backing you, so you just got to go out there and express yourself. (About handling pressure) To be honest, in pressure situations, you tend to get nervous but at the same time it is also fun playing in front of so many people and if you perform they lift you up. (How intense are the net sessions given the quality of the bowling attack) It is definitely intense. We see to it that we play the most difficult bowler. Whenever Bumrah comes with the new ball I face him because you know it’s going to be difficult and it helps you for the matches,” he added.
Shreyas Iyer on Wednesday made history, becoming the first middle-order batter to smash 500 runs or more in a single edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup.
With his second successive century in the tournament during the semifinals against New Zealand, Shreyas broke plenty of records and continued his purple patch in ODI cricket.
In the match, Iyer was at his most fierce. He smashed 105 in just 70 balls. His knock consisted of four boundaries and eight sixes. He struck his runs at a strike rate of 150.
In this tournament so far, Iyer has smashed 526 runs at an average of 75.14 and a strike rate of over 113. He has scored two centuries and three fifties, with the best score of 128*. The batter is the fifth-highest run-getter in the tournament so far.
The previous best-run tally by a middle-order batter in a single World Cup was by New Zealand’s Scott Styris. In the 2007 edition of the tournament, Styris smashed 499 runs at an average of 83.16, with one century and four fifties in nine innings.
This century by Iyer, which he reached in 67 balls, is the fastest-ever in a Cricket World Cup knockout match. He has surpassed legendary Australian wicketkeeper-batter Adam Gilchrist, who smashed a 72-ball ton against Sri Lanka in the 2007 WC final.
Iyer is also only the third Indian batter to score two or more successive WC tons, with other two being Rohit Sharma (three in 2019) and Rahul Dravid (two in 1999).
Iyer smashed eight sixes in his knock, which is the highest by an Indian batter in their World Cup innings. He has overtaken Sourav Ganguly, who smashed seven sixes during his knock of 183* against Sri Lanka in 1999.
Also, Shreyas Iyer reached his 4,000 international runs. In 116 matches, he has scored 4,036 runs at an average of 42.48, with six centuries and 29 fifties in 113 innings. His best score is 128*.
Iyer has scored 666 runs in 10 Tests at an average of 44.40, with one century and five fifties in 16 innings.
ODIs are Iyer’s best format. In 57 ODIs, he has scored 2,327 runs at an average of 50.58, with five centuries and 17 fifties in 52 innings.
In 49 T20Is, Iyer has made 1,043 runs at an average of 30.67, with seven fifties in 45 innings. Coming to the match, India opted to bat first and scored 397/4 in their 50 overs. Skipper Rohit Sharma (47 in 29 balls, with four boundaries and four sixes) and Shubman Gill (80 in 66 balls, with eight fours and three sixes) delivered a fine start with a 71-run opening stand.
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