Shreyas Iyer and Green Park Stadium have good outdated bonding.
On Thursday morning, as the long-lasting cricketing venue in Kanpur hosted a Test match after 5 years, it additionally marked the Test debut for Iyer. And the 26-year-outdated made the many of the alternative, slamming an unbeaten 75 as India ended the day on 258 for 4.
Against a formidable New Zealand bowling line-up, Iyer was guts, aggression, and aptitude rolled into one.
As Iyer stitched partnerships – first with Ajinkya Rahane and later with Ravindra Jadeja – it introduced again recollections of a December 2014 afternoon, the place he had helped Mumbai bounce again in a Ranji Trophy fixture in opposition to Uttar Pradesh. He batted with Shardul Thakur to show the tide.
It was Iyer’s debut season, and Mumbai had suffered a defeat in opposition to Jammu and Kashmir within the earlier sport. Coming to Kanpur, in response to UP’s 206, Mumbai was eight down for 173, earlier than Iyer’s 75 and Thakur’s 87 helped the facet acquire misplaced floor.
That innings performed a key function in Iyer’s profession. He made the Indian group in 2017, however he needed to anticipate the Test cap.
As Iyer stamped his class in opposition to the New Zealand bowlers on Thursday, it was additionally an emotional second for his coach Praveen Amre. I
Interestingly, Amre was the coach of Mumbai in 2014 and was a part of that match. “The result is a happy ending, but the going was not that easy. In 2014, Shreyas played that innings in Kanpur after a not so (memorable debut) for Mumbai. Now also, he played red-ball cricket after nearly two years. But it was good to see him bat, and on both the occasions, his contribution was immense,” Amre instructed Sportstar.
“In 2014 too, he came to Kanpur knowing that if he missed that opportunity there, then he would not perhaps make it again. This time too, had Virat (Kohli) been available for the Test, he may not have featured in the side. So he knew how important this opportunity was for him,” Amre, a former India worldwide, mentioned.
With Kohli set to return to the facet for the second Test in Mumbai, the group administration will surely be in for some robust choices, and Amre believes that “it is a good headache to have for the team management.”
“Having an in-form batter in the side is always good. But you also need a senior player. Shreyas has done whatever was in his hands,” Amre mentioned.
The previous couple of months have been difficult for Iyer, who underwent shoulder surgical procedure earlier this 12 months after struggling an damage in the course of the restricted-overs collection in opposition to England in March. As a end result, he needed to miss out on a massive a part of the season.
“For any cricketer, the operation and the recovery phase is most painful. More than physical, it is mental pain. What was worse for Shreyas was that he had scored a half-century in the previous match and looked in good touch, and that’s when he suffered the injury. After the surgery, even he did not know what to do and how to overcome it,” Amre reminisced.
While he adopted the directions from the docs and the physios on the National Cricket Academy, Iyer slowly began coaching with Amre on the Mumbai Cricket Association’s Bandra-Kurla Complex facility. “We knew that September 19 was the first match of the IPL, so we started two months early at the BKC. Even as it rained, we trained indoors. His workload management was important, and as a coach, even I had to be careful. We planned the sessions together with physios and trainers,” Amre mentioned.
Hard work paid off as Iyer returned to the IPL for Delhi Capitals and earned the Man of the Match award within the second sport. While he was not a part of the T20 World Cup, Iyer had lengthy discussions with Amre earlier than becoming a member of the Indian group bubble for the Test collection in opposition to New Zealand.
“The biggest challenge was that he played red-ball cricket for the last time in 2019. Then there was COVID, and also he was injured. But he worked hard. He knows how he waited for this opportunity. He came into the team in 2017 and had to wait for four years for this. For any player, it is a dream to play Test cricket.”
Even although the situations have been difficult for batters, Iyer made his Test debut memorable. “The situation was different, and the ball was not coming on to the bat. The wicket was low and slow, but he applied (and executed the plans) very well and went on building partnerships with Rahane and Jadeja,” Amre mentioned.