Gloves Off

IPL 9: Delhi's in full form, but where is daredevil Shreyas?

For a natural talent like the Mumbai kid to be doing so badly is hard to comprehend.

 |  Gloves Off  |  4-minute read |   08-05-2016
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Everyone is talking about the huge transformation of Delhi Daredevils in IPL 9, but one player who has been reduced to near rubble is Shreyas Iyer.

Last season, when the young kid from Mumbai made a forceful impact in the IPL by scoring 439 runs in 14 matches, he was the face of the Daredevils.

And when the former Poddar College student scored runs by the bucket in the last Ranji Trophy season (2015-'16), he was touted as Team India prospect.

Also read - IPL9: Why the Yuvraj Singh affair goes beyond the field

After scoring 1,321 runs in the Ranji season with four tons and seven half centuries at an average of 73.38, he was the talk of the town. Such performances in first-class cricket are not registered often and he played a big role in Mumbai winning the Ranji Trophy.

For someone who should have been in the news again in this IPL, he has gone through such a rough patch that he is now confined to the Daredevils dugout.

The IPL is an unforgiving format. As long as you are performing, there is praise all around.

356589-dd-zaheer-vs-_050816122903.jpg Delhi Daredevils captain Zaheer Khan.

But once you start to do badly, the team management does not waste time in confining you to the sidelines.

It's a strange scenario. Agreed, first-class cricket is very different from the IPL, but for a natural talent like Shreyas, to be doing so badly is hard to comprehend.

Also read - IPL 9 shows Dhoni's days are over, Kohli is the new king

To be sure, nobody really worries about one player when his form hits the trough as long as the team is on a high. But then, when you look at talent rotting, it has you thinking if the IPL is the best place to be for someone who holds such huge promise. If you have not watched Shreyas in this IPL, you can go to the official website and see what has gone wrong. Barring one dismissal against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), when he fell to a brilliant catch by David Wiese off Sreenath Aravind, the rest suggest he has been playing across the line and paying the price.

When a batsman of Shreyas' calibre is going through not just a rough patch but a rut, the immediate question is what is going through his mind.

Also read - IPL 9: New captains Zaheer and Raina outshine Dhoni

Agreed, there can be a dip in form from the end of the Ranji Trophy till the IPL, but if errors have crept into his batting technique, it warrants correction.

As one who has learnt the nuances of batting from freelance coach Pravin Amre, Shreyas was at one point of time being compared with Virender Sehwag. Those who have seen him play for Mumbai say he has the technique and temperament to bat well.

At a time when we have a batsman like Virat Kohli playing authentic shots even in the shortest form of cricket, it's worrying that Shreyas has been reduced to this state.

In his first IPL season, there was no pressure on him and he batted freely. But then, at a time when his team Daredevils is winning matches, he should be in a better frame of mind.

It's quite possible Shreyas is confused about his batting. Everyone has been raving about Rahul Dravid, the mentor, working wonders for the team.

Also read - Delhi Daredevils pull out of IPL 9

If that is the case, Dravid should have ironed out the flaws in Shreyas's batting, especially playing across the line.

Just imagine the plight of a batsman who is facing this trauma. He could be confused at team meetings and brainstorming sessions, apparently also held one-on-one.

Insiders say, these are not easy to deal with. The young man from Mumbai could well go up to Daredevils' Paddy Upton for coaching guidance as well as talk about the mental aspect of the game.

Also read - Dravid's Delhi Daredevils - from double Ds to triple Ds

There are times when an athlete faces an information overload. In the case of Shreyas, it could well be a case that he doesn't know what to do and whom to talk to.

What happens in this process is that howsoever hard you try to iron out mistakes and perform, it doesn't work.

Given the kind of travel the IPL entails and how teams have to crisscross from one city to another, only the toughest survive.

Shreyas is young, but watching from beyond the boundary, he looks thoroughly confused as a batsman. Sad, isn't it?

(Courtesy of Mail Today.)

Writer

S Kannan S Kannan @kannandelhi

Sports columnist.

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