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Ranji Trophy: Double centurion Shreyas Iyer guides Mumbai to huge lead over Punjab

Shreyas Iyer had a dream debut first-class season last year, but the challenge for him coming into this season was to live up to those expectations. 

He experienced a failure in Mumbai’s opening Ranji Trophy match against Andhra, scoring only 15 as the 40-time champions failed to claim the first innings lead.


Punjab captain Yuvraj Singh shows his appreciation for Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer’s three-figure show at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. PIC/SURESH KK 
Punjab captain Yuvraj Singh shows his appreciation for Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer’s three-figure show at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. PIC/SURESH KK 

However, the Worli lad roared back in style to score a double century against Punjab as Mumbai dominated Day Two of the tie at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday.

Mumbai ended the day at 495 for 6, taking a 341-run lead, after the umpires stopped play due to bad light.

Big stand
Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav (78) made Punjab bowlers toil hard as the duo stitched together a 233-run partnership for the third wicket. Once Iyer departed on 200 off 176 balls, Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare got into act and went on to stay unbeaten on 111. 

“It was a challenge for me because as you said, they said it was going to be really tough for me in the second season. I had that mindset to prove everyone wrong and score the same number of runs,” Iyer said.

Starting at No 7, Iyer scored 809 runs at an average of 50.56 for Mumbai and ended up playing at No 3 last season.

He was snapped up by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 2.6 crore and was worth the value as he bagged the Indian Premier League’s Emerging Player of the Tournament award. His 439 runs put him in the top eight run-getters.

He was soon rewarded with India ‘A’ opportunities against Australia ‘A’, South Africa ‘A’ and Bangladesh ‘A’. He, however, failed to capitalise on them and his highest score was just 49.

Dravid’s advice
“I was playing too many shots, erratic shots. Now, I am playing on the merit (of the ball), respecting good balls,” he said. India ‘A’ coach Rahul Dravid had some advice. “He (Dravid) said I should have a goal for the Ranji season and that I should stick to the process. That really helped me,” said Iyer. The implementation was on show yesterday. Except when he took 14 balls to score three runs for his century, Iyer was too tough to keep quiet.


Shreyas Iyer

Batting on 195, he had everyone on the edge of their seats when Barinder Singh Sran failed to hold on to a catch at mid-wicket. The ball tossed out of his hands and rolled over for a boundary. He then took a single to long on to complete his maiden double ton. Next ball, he holed out to Siddharth Kaul off Yuvraj Singh. The senior India player was quick to offer his congratulations.

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