Shreyas Iyer had no idea that he would be making his Test debut in the ongoing game versus New Zealand in Kanpur, till head coach Rahul Dravid and stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane apprised him of it.
“Suddenly I had to get into the mindset of red-ball cricket,” Shreyas said after Day II’s proceedings at Green Park.
The task wasn’t easy as the Irani Cup in February 2019 was Shreyas’ last red-ball appearance. However, he worked on his processes, banked on his impressive figures in first-class cricket and also kept in mind the words of the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, who handed him his Test cap.
“Sunil Sir told me one important point: ‘You don’t have to think about your past, you don’t have to think about your future. All you have got is the present, and you’ve got to focus on the next ball’. That is what I have been doing throughout,” the 26-year-old said, reflecting on that priceless moment.
Despite getting runs in a tricky situation, Shreyas’ place in the XI for the second and final Test in Mumbai is not a guarantee, particularly with regular skipper Virat Kohli set to return. Shreyas, though, is ready to take everything in his stride and move forward.
Having kept his promise of scoring a Test hundred, Shreyas can now finally invite his long-time coach Pravin Amre for dinner.
“Whenever I go for training, Pravin Sir keeps on saying, ‘you’ve achieved a lot in life. You’ve been the captain of an IPL team and scored so many runs, but that is in white-ball cricket. Your main achievement will be the Test cap’.
“I’m sure he would have been really happy when I received the cap. He was like, ‘I’ll come to your place for dinner only if you score a Test century’. So I’ll message him and invite him for dinner,” Shreyas said.