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Shreyas Iyer’s innings turned out to be pivotal

Updated on: 17 November,2023 07:30 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Jatin Paranjape |

Ravindra Jadeja was excellent on a track that suited him perfectly. India took a shrewd gamble in batting first even though there could have been dew later that night

Shreyas Iyer’s innings turned out to be pivotal

Shreyas Iyer during his 70-ball 105 on Wednesday. Pic/Satej Shinde

Jatin ParanjapeIndia broke the New Zealand World Cup curse in great style in front of a packed Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.

Mohammed Shami has been India’s man of the tournament and he was at his absolute best on an atypical Wankhede pitch, it was completely bereft of grass and was dry and slow. But Shami’s talents are such that he can make the ball talk in any circumstances, and he is revelling in the faith bestowed upon him by his captain. His 7-57 will go down as one of the most remarkable performances by an Indian. His talent has been rightfully awarded with great success by the almighty.

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India have been brave in this tournament. They showed that once again by batting first after winning the toss. Captain Rohit Sharma has helmed this team’s courage from the start, and once again he went after the opposition bowlers, completely putting them on the backfoot. Trent Boult was forced to go round the wicket in a bid to cramp Rohit, but this did not work too. I thought NZ missed a trick by not playing Kyle Jamieson instead of Lockie Ferguson. Jamieson would also have added batting depth. Shubman Gill at the other end, was waiting patiently while his captain tore into the opposition, and once Rohit was out trying to clear a slower one, Gill took the onus and went after the NZ bowlers by himself. After he had to retire hurt, Virat Kohli and the ever impressive Shreyas Iyer took their time to get in on a pitch where stroke making was not easy. They built a great partnership that saw Kohli surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s record at Tendulkar’s home ground and in front of Tendulkar and David Beckham. Kohli bowed in respect after reaching the landmark, such is the adulation for the great Sachin Tendulkar.

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Shreyas Iyer’s innings turned out to be the pivotal one. He realised that 350-plus was a par score and took the onus upon himself to take his team past that with some incredible shots. I have not seen a lot of players clear straight boundaries to fast bowlers the way Shreyas does. His hands are high on the bat, and this coupled with his height, gives him great reach. So, a ball that will be out of reach for a normal batsman comes within Shreyas’s striking range and by the time the bowlers alter their length, they have already done a fair few air miles.

India batted first as they now completely believe that their strength is their bowling line-up. All five bowlers turned up somewhat at their best except Shami, who exceeded his best on Wednesday night. Ravindra Jadeja was excellent on a track that suited him perfectly. India took a shrewd gamble in batting first even though there could have been dew later that night.

Jatin Paranjape, the ex-India and Mumbai batsman, is a former national selector too. He tweets @jats72

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