The listless performances of the established bowlers aside, Shreyas Iyer‘s dismissal to a short ball in the first ODI really set the alarm bells ringing. Iyer, while explaining his struggles against the short ball and the off-colour performance of the bowlers, largely put it down to familiar reasons: IPL workload and nature of practice pitches in Australia.
“I am sure it’s the transition from T20 to ODI. The IPL workload plays with every individual. It’s really difficult for the bowlers to come in and bowl 10 overs and also field for 50 overs. There are many more matches coming up ahead, they will come back stronger,” Iyer said on the eve of the third ODI.
“There wasn’t as much bounce in UAE. The pitches we practiced on were completely different to the pitches in the match. It’s taking time to acclimatize. But that’s the challenge. I am really enjoying the challenge. I am overwhelmed that they (the Australian side) are planning for me,” the 25-year-old, trying hard to put up a brave face, said.
“Acclimatize” is always the buzz word for touring teams. Iyer understands there is no escaping it when playing abroad. The conditions are completely different to what you have been bred on for years at home. Also, it’s difficult to work on your technique between games and as the losses mount, the tour can seem long and endless.
“I feel it’s just the mindset that you need to adjust. You know the pitches are bouncy and bowlers will attack your body. You have to make sure you don’t bend too much in your stance and stay upright and then react to the delivery,” Iyer said.
This is Iyer’s first tour of Australia, and he is already finding out how hard things can be. There are glaring holes in the way the team is playing its cricket. There’s not much time between games. It’s hard to take a step and come back hard.
The bowlers are going through their own share of struggles and India need a few more backup bowling options. “Obviously, we had discussions. We had an optional practice today where a few of our bowlers went and some of the batsmen accompanied them. We are working on some routines and processes which we haven’t gone well for us in the last few games,” Iyer said.
Iyer has been thrown in at the deep end. After having played out a rather tough media interaction, it’s time he and his team got their act together.