“Sri, ye bachcha ko bahut kaam karna padega”

Former Team India field coach R Sridhar shared an interesting incident related to Shreyas Iyer’s short ball problems. Recalling an incident from India’s tour of South Africa in 2018, Sridhar explained that Ravi Shastri (who was India’s coach at the time) realized Shreyas had to work very hard off the rising ball after seeing one of his layoffs.

Shreyas has been in the news lately for his constant struggles with short ball. The 27-year-old was harassed by bouncers in all three formats of the game.

Sridhar, who was Team India’s field coach until last year’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, spoke candidly about the Mumbai cricketer’s struggles against the rebound ball. Speaking to, he said:

“It’s a very perceived weakness that we’ve all seen at the highest level, not just now. I remember an incident in 2018. Shreyas Iyer had made his (ODI) debut against Sri Lanka in India and shortly after that we went to South Africa for a multi-format tour.”

Shreyas got the opportunity to play at the ODIs. In one of the games he faced Pacer Morne Morkel. Sridhar continued the story and added:

“Morkel put him to the test with a short ball and defended it to third man. And Ravi Shastri was sitting next to me. He said, “Sri, ye bachcha ko bahut kaam karna padega” (Sri, this child will have to work really hard). Ravi Shastri saw only one ball and said this guy needs to work hard against fast short bowling.”

The 52-year-old, who was also the Punjab Kings (PBKS) bowling coach, pointed out that Shreyas’ struggles matter more because he doesn’t get many runs against the short ball. Explaining how Shreyas’ situation differs from that of Indian captain Rohit Sharma, he elaborated:

“Shrayas isn’t someone who gets a lot of runs on the short ball. Often he has gloved the ball to the goaltender or caught it at the midwicket or deep square leg. He’s not like Rohit Sharma, who plunders the bowlers on short ball but occasionally gets caught on the fine leg.”

The elegant batsman has not been included in the squad for the upcoming Asia Cup T20 tournament in UAE. He was named as one of the three standbys.

“The day he cracks that code, bowlers will have nowhere to bowl to him” – R Sridhar on Shreyas Iyer

Sridhar conceded that Shreyas would struggle to break into international cricket unless he overcame his weaknesses. At the same time, he claimed that the right-handed hitter would dominate bowlers if he could conquer his demons against short ball. Sridhar concluded:

“The day he cracks that code of short pitch bowling, there will be no bowlers anywhere to bowl to him. He’s a very good player from all other things. It’s only a matter of time. It’s more of a mental thing than anything else.”

During the West Indies tour, Shreyas hit 161 runs in three ODIs with a 53.67 average. In the T20Is, he only managed 98 runs in four games with a 24.50 average.

Edited by Renin Wilben Albert “Sri, ye bachcha ko bahut kaam karna padega”

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