For the last couple of seasons, the Indian cricket team has struggled in finding an ideal number four in the batting line-up. The rotation policy before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 did not help and the lack of middle order exposure proved to be costly as India were eliminated in the semi-final against New Zealand. After the World Cup, India might have found a steady player in Shreyas Iyer who has done well in the No.4 spot. In Chennai and Vizag, Iyer hit two contrasting fifties. While the one in Chennai was attritional and bailed the team out of a tough situation, in Vizag he exploded and notched up a blazing fifty.
Speaking in the pre-match press conference ahead of the clash in Cuttack against the West Indies, Iyer focused on a sense of responsibility which was needed in order to improve his batting. "I think that comes with maturity and responsibility. I was a flamboyant player when I started playing first-class cricket. I never used to take responsibility. I just used to back my instincts and go with the flow. Lately, I've realised that once you play at the highest level, you got to take that maturity to another stage. I can even play strokes and I can even nudge the ball and take single, so I know my game really well right now and I can play accordingly," Iyer said.
When asked about the contrasting knocks in which he hit 70 off 88 balls in Chennai and the 29-ball fifty in Vizag, Iyer said it depended on the match situation. "You have to play according to what the team demands. And that's what I did the other day. The team didn't demand me to score big shots at that time, we just needed a big partnership. We just needed the scoreboard to keep going. And that's what I did I and I feel that whatever the situation demands, you got to play accordingly. And I'm really happy about what I did in the first game. I batted at No 5 in the previous ODI. I'm flexible that way. It's just that you got to play according to the situation and what the team demands. And that's what I did. And I know that I can play in both flows," Iyer said.
Currently, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has experienced a couple of low scores having fallen for 4 and 0 in the first two games. When asked about Kohli's form, Iyer was surprised and said he will be back to his best and India will play with positive content. "I don't know why you are asking this question. We are talking about a legend who has scored so many runs. We will look to carry forward the momentum. We will try to create that magical moment so that it can affect the team in a positive way. Even the last game was a do-or-die for us with the series on the line. We will play with the similar mindset. When the stakes are high, I feel all the players lift up their socks, put up their hands," Iyer said.