His counter-attacking knock put India in the driver’s seat in the second Test against Sri Lanka and Shreyas Iyer asserted that batting with a defensive mind-set does not help on difficult wickets like the M Chinnaswamy track.Iyer’s combative 92 under pressure guided India to 252 after the team was struggling at 126 for five.Batting fearlessly, Iyer charged down the wicket quite often, which he said was the best strategy to negate the spin.”My plan when I went out to bat was to cut down the spin (negate turn), so I decided to step out,” Iyer told media after opening day’s play.

“As I was standing on the middle stump, I was cutting down across the wicket so I could cover the spin and can take a single in the mid-wicket area and I am confident when I do that. When you step out, you play with the mind of the bowler and spoil his line and length,” he explained his strategy.

Iyer said letting negativity affect batting is not his style, so he backed his attacking instincts.

“The players who defended the ball, there was a lot of chance of nicking. The ball was staying low and there was variable bounce on the wicket. You can’t play negative on this wicket, just keep defending the ball.

“You need to have that positive intent when you step out on the field and you know that the wicket is not that great and obviously bowler-friendly, so my mindset was to play each ball on its merit and see to it that I get runs on every ball.”

He missed out on his second Test century but he does not regret, saying looking at the bigger picture, the team was helped by his knock.

“I am disappointed that I missed out on a hundred, but if you see from the team’s perspective, we got to a very fighting total, which is 250 especially on this wicket. And seriously I don’t have any regrets. When I play on the field, I play for the team, i don’t play for myself.

“The results matter for me and my teammates, skipper, coaches all of them have been really supportive throughout and that’s what really matters. And I felt fifty was alike a century because the I celebrated it was like a century feeling for me,” he said.

Iyer also said it was not easy to prepare for such wickets that offer hekp to spinners from the very first day.

“In Bombay (Mumbai), the bounce is with pace but here it was stopping a bit. It was variable and you actually can’t prepare for such wickets. you need to have a good day and you need to see that you are not thinking about getting out. Once you let enter that thought, you can’t move your legs or hands.” Iyer also did not mind that the first day of a Test match was heavily in favour of the spinners.

“From Championship point of view, you obviously want to win every game and that can’t be achieved unless you put such challenging wickets.

“And I am really happy that there are challenges in every format and every wicket you play on now a days. It’s fun to explore such wickets and perform at the highest level,” he signed off.

Siraj released from Team India bubble


Pacer Mohammed Siraj has been released from the Indian Test squad’s bio-bubble allowing him to spend a few extra days with his family in Hyderabad before he links up with his RCB teammates in Mumbai for the next edition of IPL.

It is understood that the second Test which is expected to finish within three days will allow all the Team India players to go home for some extra days before they join their respective franchises.