I took this as an opportunity and a challenge as well: Shreyas Iyer reflects on special debut Test ton

Tags: India vs New Zealand, 1st Test at Kanpur, Nov 25-29, 2021, India, New Zealand, Shreyas Santosh Iyer, New Zealand tour of India, 2021

Published on: Nov 26, 2021

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Indian batter Shreyas Iyer has admitted that he did not know he would be making his Test debut when the team arrived in Kanpur. Iyer said that it was a challenge as well as an opportunity for him to make his Test debut in the 1st Test against New Zealand. The 26-year-old sizzled with 105 off 171 balls as India posted 345 runs in their first innings. The Kiwis made a brilliant start in response, reaching 129 for no loss by stumps.

Reflecting on his amazing Test debut, Iyer said that he had to quickly shift into red-ball mode since he hadn’t played that format in nearly three years. Speaking at a press-conference at the end of the day’s play, the middle-order batter said, “When I came to Kanpur, I didn't know I was going to play. Rahul sir (Dravid) and skipper [Ajinkya Rahane] came to me and said I was going to play. Suddenly I had to get into the mindset of red-ball cricket.”

"The last match I played was almost three years back, which was Irani Trophy. I took this as an opportunity and a challenge as well. Once you play white-ball cricket for so long, getting back to red-ball cricket is a different ball game. The mindset and routine has to be on point. That's what I focused on rather than thinking about how I am going to play and thinking about who I am going to face on the ground,” the 26-year-old further added.

While Iyer made an impressive Test debut, the chance came out of turn for the youngster. With Virat Kohli returning for the second Test, he might have to make way unless India decide to drop one of the senior batters. Iyer, though, is not bothered about the future. Asked about it, he replied, "Sunil Gavaskar sir, when he gave me the cap, told me one important point. You don't have to think about your past, you don't have to think about your future. All you have got is present, and you have got to focus on the next ball.' That's what I have been doing throughout.”

So my aim is to think about today, not think about the next game. If I think about that, I wouldn't be able to perform on the given day. Whatever happens happens for the best, and I will take it in my stride and move forward. I didn't look at missing out on the World Cup as an opportunity gone. I was in a good frame of mind. To get this opportunity and to score a hundred in debut Test is a different feeling. I can't explain it. So many messages to me saying this is your best achievement in your life. It took me back to my Mumbai cricketing days," the talented batter further added.

With his hundred on Friday, Iyer became the 16th Indian to score a century on Test debut. The last two Indians to score tons on Test debut were also from Mumbai - Rohit Sharma and Prithvi Shaw.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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