Interview With Shreyas Iyer of the Delhi Daredevils Before IPL 2017

PS. This piece was first published on on 1st April, 2017. This is not an original publication, but the author of the post is the same. The post was published shortly after the cricketer being spoken about received a call up to the Indian test squad.


For the few of you readers out there who don’t know the man in question, let me introduce Shreyas Iyer to you. An attacking top order batsman who hits the ball with brute force, Shreyas burst onto the scene at the IPL 2015 Auction, where he was purchased by the Delhi Daredevils for a whopping 2.6 crore rupees, then aged just 20 years. He was the highest paid uncapped player at the IPL 2015 Auction and he immediately repaid the faith shown in him by the Daredevils.

Opening the innings, Shreyas had an amazing debut season at the Indian Premier League, scoring 439 runs and 4 fifties, including a total of 21 sixes in that tournament. He not only won the Emerging Player of Year Award at IPL 2015, but also went on to become the highest run scorer in the 2015-16 Ranji Trophy, scoring a record 1321 runs, with 4 centuries and a batting average of 73.38; he was slowly coming under the eyes of the Indian selectors.

In February 2017, Shreyas scored an unbeaten 202(210) against a touring Australian side, which earned him his first call up to the Indian test team, as a cover for the injured captain Virat Kohli. I recently contacted Shreyas after this huge personal achievement, and he was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule and let me talk to him for a while.

Shreyas Iyer 202

Shreyas Iyer’s exclusive telephonic interview:

Q1. Shreyas, you just made headlines by getting called up to the national squad for the first time in your career. Was this something you expected or did this come to you as a surprise? What was your reaction?

Answer: To be honest, I had been expecting this for quite a while, but the call was still a very surprising one. I was playing a tournament in Delhi and we had just won the final there. At around the same time, I was selected for the Challenger Trophy (Deodhar Trophy) which was to be played in Vizag. I was just about leaving the hotel to head to Visakhapatnam when I got this call. The call was from a BCCI official and even though he said the news wasn’t confirmed as yet, I was still very happy and surprised!

Shreyas told me that even though he was called in as a cover for Indian captain Virat Kohli (who is one of the best batsmen in the world at the moment), he didn’t feel any added pressure at all. He said that he looked at it as a normal call, being brought in as a cover for another player and he knew that the management wanted to add a batsman to the squad; he flew to Dharamsala without any unnecessary stress.

Q2. Talking about Virat, we saw on your Instagram account (@shreyas41that he had gifted you a bat. How did that make you feel? 

Answer: It was actually very surprising. You know, I would’ve never expected to have got a bat from him. On the first day of nets itself, he called me for knocks and I threw a few balls at him. He was like “No, it’s not happening. This bat doesn’t feel comfortable.” He then told me to check the bat out and after practising with it a bit, I said “Yeah, it’s a nice bat.” He said “Keep it then.” So yeah, it’s a great feeling to be gifted a bat by one of the best batsmen in the world.

Q3. Tell us about your experience sharing the dressing room with the likes of Kohli and other Indian cricket stars. Were you nervous? Or did the team make you feel comfortable?

Answer: Well, I was definitely nervous when I arrived at the stadium on the first day, having gone straight to the ground from the airport. When I went out for the warm up session, they were playing footy and I was really nervous to approach the players, but I was close to a couple of them and they helped me get comfortable. And yeah, after that first nervous day, I settled down gradually and got along well with all the players. 

Q4. Aged 22, you’ve already received your Indian test call up. The pace of life as a cricket player must be super fast. How do you deal with all the rapid changes that have taken place in your life over the last couple of years?

Answer: Well, I’ve always set goals for myself and at the age of 19, I had already decided that I wanted to get into the Ranji Trophy after my under 19 age group cricket and also play for India as soon as possible. So I’ve kind of always been prepared for these changes and I’m really glad that I’m on the right track to fulfilling my goals. Right now, my aim is to represent India in all three formats within the next couple of years.

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Virat gifts Shreyas Iyer an MRF bat
Virat gifts Shreyas Iyer an MRF bat

“I’ve done my part of training hard every day, so even if I don’t score a lot of runs in IPL 2017, I won’t have any regrets”, Shreyas said before IPL 2017. Scoring 439 runs in his debut season at the IPL, Shreyas was Delhi’s stand out player. He had a brilliant 2015 but 2016 wasn’t that great in comparison. However, he was very well prepared for IPL 2017 and ended up scoring 338 runs in that season, the 16th best overall and also a Man of the Match award. 

Q5. What do you think of the IPL as a platform for young players? And which up and coming players should we be looking out for this year?

Answer: I think the Indian Premier League is like a fast track to get into the Indian national cricket team. Out there, you’re playing against big international stars and high quality players, and if you manage to perform well in the IPL, you’re making your way to the Indian team. I’m not aware of many upcoming players to be honest, as I have been busy concentrating on my game and training hard.

Q6. How do you prepare for a game? Are there are pre-match or pre-innings rituals that you follow?

Answer: I used to follow a few superstitions at first but not anymore. Recently, I’ve started sticking to what my mind says and doing things spontaneously. If I perform well in any particular game, I tend to follow the same routines in the next game which builds superstitions and I try to avoid that now, as that’s not really good. Keeping a positive mindset has helped me a lot. I try my best to convert all negative thoughts in my head into positive thoughts. 

Q7. Growing up, who was your favourite cricketer? Who inspired you to become the batsman you now are?

Answer: Obviously, Sachin Tendulkar. Always looked up to him since I started playing cricket.

Shreyas Iyer 96 in IPL 2017

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When asked what is the most memorable moment or innings of his career so far, Shreyas was fast to reply that it was his innings of 202* against Australia which made headlines recently. The innings happens to be a very special innings to him as he never imagined he’d be able to score a double century against a mighty team like Australia. This innings was probably one of the major reasons for his call up to the Indian team as well.

Being the attacking batsman that he is, many would’ve expected him to make his first national appearance in either the ODI or T20 format. However, he has been consistently doing well in tournaments like the Ranji Trophy which is 4-day cricket so he definitely earned this call up. How soon can Shreyas make his debut for India?

Q8. Apart from cricket, tell us about the Shreyas Iyer we don’t know. What are some of your hobbies or interests that you give time to when you are not training?

Answer: I really love playing football, so whenever I’m not training and I have some free time, I go and play with my friends out on the turfs. I’m also a big fan of watching movies and I love playing PlayStation. Play whenever I have time. 

Q9. We all know Delhi is a pretty good team but if you couldn’t choose Delhi, who would you say has the best chance of winning IPL 2017?

Answer: If not Delhi, obviously Mumbai as it is my hometown and they also have a pretty good squad.

Shreyas Iyer national team call up
Shreyas Iyer national team call up

Q10. Do you have any message for all young aspiring sportsmen in India?

Answer: To all young, future sportsmen of India, I’d just say to follow your instincts and ignore the fears. Just try to stay focussed in whatever you do, and everything will follow. Don’t ever let negative thoughts creep in and don’t put yourself down in your own eyes. People will always talk and criticize you, but you shouldn’t give too much thought to such things. 

I would like to thank Shreyas Iyer once again for taking time out to make this telephonic interview possible. We at Read Scoops would like to congratulate him on his recent successes, and we would also like to wish him the best of luck for his cricketing future. The boy has a bright future ahead of him and we hope to see him become a regular part of the Indian national squad!

– Dwayne Fernandes, Read Scoops

(Twitter – @dwayneeeboy, Instagram – @dwayneeeboy)


PS. This piece was first published on on 1st April, 2017. This is not an original publication, but the author of the post is the same. The post was published shortly after the cricketer being spoken about received a call up to the Indian test squad.

About Dwayne Fernandes 1066 Articles
Indian. 23. Management Graduate. Huge cricket fan. Twitter and Instagram - @dwayneeeboy