India A vs Australia: Shreyas Iyer credits Down Under tour with 'A' team for growth as player

PTI, Feb, 19 2017

Mumbai: Young Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer on Sunday said that the India A tour to Australia has helped him grow as a player.

Recalling a similar tour game against South Africa, where he did not have much success, Iyer said that he has become a more relaxed batsman since then.

"I was facing Dale Steyn (during tour game against SA) for the first time and it was really tough as a youngster. He was in peak complaints. Recently I got 100 against Bangladesh (2-day game in Hyderabad) and with that motivation I came into this game. The flow also went well and I am really happy," Iyer told reporters after the drawn game between India A and Australia, in which he scored his career-best 202 not out in a first innings total of 403.

Shreyas Iyer hit 27 fours in his career-best score of 202 not out. PTI

Shreyas Iyer hit 27 fours in his career-best score of 202 not out. PTI

"I am a bit more relaxed, not thinking much about opposition, talking to myself rather than focusing on what goes on around me except field positions. The India A tour to Australia was an amazing experience.

"It was a first time for me in Australia. Bowlers were also good over there. There was not even bounce; either balls were staying a bit low or bouncing. They were really seaming wickets and it (tour) has played a major role," he added.

Iyer, who struck seven sixes and 27 fours during his 210-ball knock, said he wanted to take it session by session.

"I was just planning to play session by session, splitting my score into 10 runs and it worked well. We also were losing wickets and as soon as I reached 184 I decided to just charge the bowler (Stephen O'Keefe) and try to make it in one single over as we had just one wicket in hand.

"I was just playing on merit of the ball. I have worked hard throughout the season and it has paid off well. It's a special innings against an international team. I really played nice strokes. I hardly got any chances while batting; usually I get life and all that. This was one of my best innings," said the 22-year-old who got his ninth first-class century in 38 games and also went past his previous best score of 200 against Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium in October, 2015.

Although Nathan Lyon went for 162 runs while taking four wickets, Iyer rated his bowling better than O'Keefe's, who claimed three for 101.

"He's (O'Keefe) a left-arm spinner. It's easier to play with the spin, but Lyon was getting good bounce and bowling straight too, so he was more effective than Stephen," he said.

Lyon was also hit by tail-ender Krishnappa Gowtham for four huge sixes on his way to a whirlwind 74 off 68 balls. Gowtham and Iyer added 138 runs in as many balls for the seventh wicket.

"He (Lyon) was not that happy when Gowtham came in and started attacking him. He was really disappointed by the way he (Gowtham) hit him (Lyon). He started asking me who is this guy. I told him he's an off spinner. Later he asked me whether he was acting (of injuring his hamstring) when fielding. He was not that happy when he was taken off after six overs," said Iyer.

Published Date: Feb 19, 2017 | Updated Date: Feb 19, 2017

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115