'We were going little lethargic at the start, but once they started going, Rohit (Sharma) recalled all players inside the circle, he gave us a pep talk and after that, all of us got determined to win the match,' said Shreyas Iyer after India clinched the T20I series 2-1 against Bangladesh
Nagpur: After India clinched the three-match Twenty20 International series against Bangladesh, batsman Shreyas Iyer has revealed how captain Rohit Sharma’s pep talk helped the team win the third and deciding game in Nagpur.
On Sunday (November 10), India defeated Bangladesh by 30 runs to claim the series 2-1. Iyer, KL Rahul and Deepak Chahar were the chief architects of the win at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium.
Also read: India win T20I series 2-1 in Nagpur
Iyer and Rahul struck half centuries while Chahar registered best-ever figures of 6/7 in T20I history. His spell included a hat-trick, in the final over the contest.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Iyer said the team was under pressure when Bangladesh had started well in their chase of 175 and were 110/2 in the 13th over. However, according to the Mumbai batsman, Rohit’s words motivated theme to bounce back.
Also read: Deepak Chahar creates T20I record
“Yeah, we were feeling the pressure. We know they are a good side and there is no team that you can underestimate in the shortest format. And in the previous two games we saw that they played a mesmerising brand of cricket," Iyer told reporters.
“We were going little lethargic at the start, but once they started going, Rohit recalled all players inside the circle, he gave us a pep talk and after that, all of us got determined to win the match,” he added.
On batting at No 4, Iyer said the team management had told him about his batting position.
“For me personally, they (team management) have given me a heads up that 'You'll be there at No.4. So just back yourself and believe in yourself',” Iyer, who smashed 62 off 33 balls including five sixes, said.
“It has been a really important last few series for me to set the benchmark at the No. 4 position, which all of us are competing for at the moment,” said Iyer, who scored a couple of half-centuries batting at No 5 in the ODIs against the West Indies.
Iyer will have to be one of the "finishers" in case team's top two batsmen skipper Virat Kohli and deputy Rohit Sharma are dismissed cheaply.
“Even if Kohli and Rohit get out, we need someone to finish the game and bat till the end.' That is a No. 4's role. That's what I was trying to replicate today and it worked out really well for me,” said the 24-year-old, who has overcome the disappointment of missing out on ODI World Cup berth.
Asked how significant his knock was considering that team is trying out fringe players like him ahead of the World T20 next year, Iyer said: “Yes, obviously there is lot of competition going in the team. I personally feel that I compete with myself. I don't want myself to be judged with anyone or when you say that this position is empty in the team.”
While he will be batting at number four for some time now, Iyer is flexible and ready to bat at any position that the team wants him to.
“I am really open-minded and can bat at any number. So I just like to back myself in tough situations and today's innings showed that I can bat under pressure as well.”
In the final T20, Iyer went ballistic after being cautious at the beginning. Four of his five sixes came against the spinners and his knock allowed India to put up a defendable 174/5.
“The support staff have given me the freedom — not just me but all the batsmen — that you need to have that intent when you go in there. And you should feel very positive when you're batting. If the ball pitches in my area, I am not going to control myself. I'll bat according to my instincts.”
Iyer was dropped on 0 and if it wasn't for his innings, India would have struggled to reach 160. With the dew setting in the evening, it would have been a tough total to defend. The Mumbai batsman said it was one of the turning points of the game.
“The over in which I got three sixes shifted the momentum in our favour otherwise we would have finished with 150 of 155.
“It would have been a really tough to defend that total on this wicket where there was a lot of dew and pitch was getting better for batting. I would really give myself credit and also KL Rahul for the way he gave us the start,” said Iyer.
According to him, the other major moments of the game were Chahar and rookie Shivam Dube dismissing a well set Mohammad Naim and Afif Hossain off consecutive balls in the 16th over.
Iyer added that dew was much heavier in Nagpur than Rajkot and Delhi.
Talking about Chahar, who did not open the bowling and instead bowled more in the second half of Bangladesh innings, Iyer said:"I was also really surprised when we didn't start with him. I was actually asking one of our teammates at that point.
"It worked out for Deepak, coming in and picking up two wickets at a crucial time. He's been playing for so many years now. He's gained experience, and I feel he's a very confident lad. Currently, he's one of the main bowlers in the team.”
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Last Updated 11:18 AM IST