Shreyas Iyer. (Phoot Source: Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)
Former India international Anil Kumble is impressed by Shreyas Iyer’s performance in the ongoing ODI World Cup. The 28-year-old didn’t start well in the tournament and was heavily criticised before his incredible knock against Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium. Against South Africa, the Mumbai-born cricketer hit 77 runs at Eden Gardens and built an important partnership with Virat Kohli, while in India’s final league game against Netherlands, Iyer was ruthless, scoring 128* runs in 94 deliveries.
Lauding him for his performance so far, Kumble stated that Iyer is mentally strong as it is not easy to make a comeback after a long layoff. Notably, the cricketer missed a significant part of 2023 owing to a back injury and was under threat to miss the ODI World Cup. However, he recovered well and managed to get back into the scheme of things and is currently the third-leading run-scorer for India in the marquee tournament.
“He (Shreyas Iyer) has played some match-winning knocks under pressure even at the Test level. It goes to show his temperament and his ability to soak up pressure,” Kumble was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“Even before the match against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede, there were talks that if Shreyas does not score, what happens when Hardik (Pandya) comes back. But he got an 80 there and followed it up with a 70 and then a hundred. It shows that he is mentally strong as it is not easy to come back from a long layoff straight into the World Cup,” he added.
Iyer registered his first ODI World Cup century against Netherlands at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru as India went on to win the match by 160 runs. KL Rahul, on the other hand, hit the fastest century by an Indian in World Cup history while Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli hit a half-century each. Hence, ahead of the semi-final match against New Zealand, Indian batters have shown their class and will be confident of making it to the finals this time around.