Shreyas Iyer got a standing ovation from the Indian dressing room, with the crowd going beserk as he slammed off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva over the Chinnaswamy’s roof to bring up his fifty off 54 balls on Day 1 of the day-night Test between India and Sri Lanka.
He celebrated it like how batters celebrate a hundred: helmet off, both arms aloft with one holding the helmet while the other having his bat and acknowledging the crowd and the change room.
Given the challenges on the ragged pitch, that offered big turn right from the first hour of the game, uneven bounce and on the surface on which it seems a total of 200 would be match-winning, Iyer felt that this fifty was like a century. Hence, the celebration.
“I personally felt that fifty was like a century. That’s why I celebrated like that. It was like a century feeling for me,” Iyer said.
“You saw the players who defended the ball, there was a lot of chance of nicking, and there was variable bounce on that wicket. You can’t just play very negatively on that wicket and just keep defending the ball. You’ve got to have that positive intent when you step out on the field. The wicket is not that great. It’s obviously bowler-friendly.”
Shreyas Iyer had come into bat at the stroke Tea (the first session in a day-night Test) with India 86/4, and both the star batters- Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli back in the hut. He survived the couple of overs before the end of the first session, and then blazed away the Lankan spinners in the second session.
Shreyas Iyer eventually ended up with 92 off 98 balls, in a knock that included 10 fours and 4 gigantic sixes, failing short of his second Test ton, but was happy to help India to the total of 252. He said that it was a predetermined effort to attack the spinners once he had had the discussion during the Tea break.
“The first five balls were really difficult for me because I went into bat just before tea. I was very nervous at that point in time and wanted to play through those two overs. After that, I came in, and we discussed with the coaches that this is what I’m going to plan and do on the wicket. I’m really happy I executed it really well.
“I’m disappointed I didn’t get a hundred, but as a team, we got to over 250 which on this wicket is a fighting total. I don’t have any regrets,” the batter added.
It was the Indian pacers – Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami – who then dismantled the Lankan batters under the lights with the pink ball in the third session. Sri Lanka are 6 wickets down for 86 runs, still trailing by 166 runs.