For a second time this week, Shreyas Iyer played the saviour.
After scoring 105 in the first innings to keep India in the hunt for a challenging first innings score, Shreyas was up to the task of lifting India from the depths of 51 for five with two retrieving stands with R. Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha. In the process, the Mumbai batter scored 65, a knock that kept India ahead of New Zealand.
“I had been in this situation before, with my Ranji (Mumbai) team. The mindset was to play session by session. Rahul (Dravid) sir told me to bat as many balls as possible and I was determined to do that,” Shreyas said, reflected on the the day’s play.
Was he aware that he became the first Indian batter to score a century and a half-century on debut?
“Yeah, I knew about it. When I came back, one of my teammates told me about it. Many others have done it from other teams but I was told, I’m the first from India. It feels good but the most important thing is to win the match.”
Asked about what the team thought was a good total to defend on this pitch, Shreyas said, “We felt that 250, including the first-innings lead (of 49 runs) would have been a good score. We’re very happy with where we are now.
“Actually, not a lot was happening with the wicket today, the ball was keeping a bit low.
“We have real spin power, so hopefully we can get the job done tomorrow.”