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Shreyas Iyer’s 95 in Ranji Trophy final compared to World Cup semifinal knock in strange assessment by KKR coach

Shreyas Iyer made a much-needed return to run-scoring with an aggressive 95 in the final of the Ranji Trophy

Shreyas Iyer produced a strong outing on Day 3 of the Ranji Trophy final against Vidarbha on Tuesday, notching an important 95 as Mumbai set their opponents a mammoth 538-run target. The India batter had failed to make a mark in the first innings, falling prey to a short ball from Umesh Yadav. However, his knock in the second innings epitomized a shift in approach.

Shreyas Iyer plays a shot during the third day of the Ranji Trophy final (PTI)

For a batter who had been under scrutiny for reasons both on and off the field, Iyer displayed his intent from the outset, kickstarting his innings with a lofted six over Vidarbha pacer Aditya Thakare’s head, setting the tone for his stellar performance. His innings of 95 runs off 111 balls, featuring 10 boundaries and three sixes, outshined the strokeplay of his younger teammates Musheer and Rahane.

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Following his attacking knock, Iyer’s KKR head coach Chandrakant Pandit likened his innings to the century against New Zealand in the 2023 World Cup semi-final. Iyer scored 105 off just 70 balls in the knock-out match, as India registered a dominant 70-run win over the Kiwis.

“It was an important innings for Shreyas, and he delivered it when it mattered. Although in a different format, his innings resembled the one in the World Cup semifinal here at the Wankhede against New Zealand,” Pandit said.

“The fact that he smashed 10 boundaries and three sixes is an indication that he is playing fearlessly and is not changing his style of play. The innings will stand him in good stead,” Pandit added.

Iyer’s knock helps Mumbai

Iyer showcased his versatility in the innings in the Ranji Trophy final, peppering shots across all parts of the ground. While he cruised into the 80s with fluent strokeplay, there was a noticeable slowdown in his run-scoring. Iyer also required the physio’s intervention on two occasions, seeking assistance with stretching exercises.

His innings eventually came to an abrupt end as he fell just five runs short. His dismissal, a result of a rash shot, reflected a loss of patience after a period of stagnation in his scoring. Despite the dismissal, Mumbai were in total command of the proceedings against Vidarbha, handing the side a mammoth 538-run target as it chases a record-extending 42nd title.


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