After a breakthrough year in which debutant Shreyas Iyer was the star of Mumbai’s campaign and also pocketed a good price in the IPL auction, a slump in form while playing for India A raised questions whether the young batsman’s success was a momentary flickering of talent, witnessed so many times by Indian cricket.
Iyer had scored 809 runs for Mumbai in 17 innings of 10 matches in the 2014-15 season at an average of 50.56, which caught the eye of talent scouts at Delhi Daredevils and they picked him for a hefty sum.
The 20-year-old right-hander proved he is back in his groove by blasting a magnificent double hundred on the second day of Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy Group B clash with Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.
With skipper Aditya Tare slamming an unbeaten century, Mumbai raced to 495 for the loss of six wickets at the end of second day to take a huge 341-run lead against Punjab, who were bundled out for 154 in their first innings. At stumps, skipper Tare was batting on 111 while Dhawal Kulkarni at 30.
IYER ON THE ATTACK
A batsman who is never afraid to play his shots, Iyer made runs at a breakneck speed on Friday to continue from his yesterday’s score of 61 to slam his first double century off just 175 balls with the help of 25 fours and five sixes.
The 20-year-old player, who carted the clueless Punjab attack to all parts of the field and showed superb timing in his strokes, fell for 200 off the next ball he faced after reaching the landmark with a single.
Iyer, who batted for 292 minutes in scoring his third first class ton, was dismissed in trying to clear the rope for the sixth time in his innings by his Delhi Daredevils teammate and Punjab captain Yuvraj Singh.
In the process of propping up the Mumbai innings, Iyer shared vital partnership with Suryakumar Yadav (78 in 162 balls). They added 233 runs for the third wicket after joining forces on Thursday evening.
TARE TAKES OVER
After Suryakumar Yadav’s departure, caught by wicketkeeper Gitansh Khera off leg-spinner Sarabjit Ladda, Iyer joined force with his captain Tare, both combining to add 64 runs for the fourth wicket to take Mumbai past 300.
Iyer was the fourth batsman to get out with Mumbai at 338 and though Mumbai lost the wickets of Sidhesh Lad and Abhishek Nayar cheaply, Tare was not done yet and pressed home Mumbai’s advantage. He completed the sixth century of his career off 140 balls to completely demoralize the Punjab attack in which left-arm pacer Barinder Singh Sran was the lone bright spot with a three-wicket haul.
Read more: Ranji trophy: Mumbai bowl out Punjab for 154
Punjab: 154 vs Mumbai 495 for 6 in 112 overs (Shreyas Iyer 200, Suryakumar Yadav 78, Aditya Tare batting 111, Dhawal Kulkarni batting 30; Barinder Singh Sran 3/87).