IPL 2024 Final: Win or Lose, Shreyas Iyer Had a Point to Prove and He's Done It Already

ipl 2024 final: win or lose, shreyas iyer had a point to prove and he's done it already

Shreyas Iyer's KKR to lock horns with SRH in IPL 2024 Final

With the cap dropping below the eye line, Shreyas Iyer walked into the pre-final press conference room with plenty of swagger. Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses was blaring on his phone, his yellow Nike Pegasus 41 sneakers and solitaires in the ears were shining bright and his body language was oozing confidence. Before answering the questions, he also sang ‘See You Again’ (by Wiz Khalifa) for Pat Cummins and seemed ready for the big evening in Chennai.

The build-up to the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) had been far from ideal for Iyer. After the high of the ODI World Cup last year, where he scored 530 runs in 11 matches, he underwent a lean patch in the longest format, the back issue recurred, lost his annual contract and missed the bus for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

ALSO READ | KKR vs SRH IPL 2024 Final Weather Update

Everything which could go wrong did for the 29-year-old. He turned up for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy competition, contributed to his team’s 42nd title triumph and then, directed all his energies towards the IPL. A lot was going around him but he chose to stay in the present, thoroughly enjoying the last couple of months with the KKR unit.

“It has been fantastic, actually. And yeah, we won the final (Ranji Trophy). I was part of the (Mumbai) team and I also contributed in the final. So, it gives me immense pleasure, to be honest, to be playing so well in the last few months and also coming and being part of such an amazing (KKR) squad, where each individual has been stepping up and contributing towards the team’s benefit.

“All I did was, just stayed in the present and didn’t think about what was going to happen to me or worry about the selection processes or anything. I just wanted to come and participate and see to it that I played to the best of my abilities,” says Shreyas.

Back issue resurfaces

He underwent back surgery in April last year, worked his way through a long rehab and regained fitness in time for the Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup. By his own admission, it was a “horrendous” period and was surprised to have recovered in just three months. However, two white-ball tournaments later, the back issue resurfaced and Shreyas was finding things difficult in the longest format.

“I was struggling after the World Cup in the longer format. When I raised my concerns, no one agreed to it. But at the same time, the competition is with myself. When I came, the IPL was approaching. All I wanted to see to it that I put in my best effort forward and whatever planning and strategizing we did before it was basically if we executed it to the best of our abilities we would have been in a great spot and that is where we are right now,” he said.

Shreyas has not really set the stage on fire with the bat – 345 runs in 13 innings – and even found it difficult to make that switch from red-ball to white-ball cricket early on. The knock against SRH – a 24-ball 58 where he hit five boundaries and four sixes – would have elevated his confidence several notches.

“The transformation from red ball to the white ball is kind of difficult as a batter and also as a bowler, I feel. Yeah it was kind of difficult at the start but once you get used to it I think you pick up the pace and match on with other players,” Shreyas explained.

Captaincy success

In the last four seasons, Shreyas has been a successful captain having led Delhi Capitals to the final in 2020 and is now one win away from ending KKR’s eight-year wait for a trophy. He has had the company of Gautam Gambhir in the dugout this season as the team mentor and the partnership has done wonders for the KKR unit. For a side which ended the last two seasons in the seventh position, the turnaround has been fantastic.

More than reaching the final, it’s the ‘how’ which has been mighty impressive. Right from the start of the tournament, they operated with clear plans and defined roles for every squad member. There was fluidity in the way they went about their business and that approach helped.

“Gautam Bhai, I feel that he has got immense knowledge about how the game is played. He has won two titles previously with KKR and his strategies have been spot-on in terms of what execution we have to make against the opponents. So, yeah, he adds on a lot of cream in the team and hopefully we keep continuing with the same momentum in the final as well with his knowledge being put out there,” says Shreyas on working with Gambhir.

As much as this season has been about Gambhir, it has also been about Shreyas. He would have surely wanted to prove a point and has certainly proved one.

For now, he would hope the journey is similar to one line of the Guns N’ Roses track he was listening to. “And pray for the thunder and the rain to quietly pass me by… ”

Stay updated with the latest from IPL 2024 , including updated list of Orange Cap In IPL 2024 and Purple Cap. Explore IPL Match Today . Check IPL 2024 Points Table and players with the Most Sixes , Most Fours ,Most Fifties And Most Hundreds In IPL 2024. Stay updated with the latest news on the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024.

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