INDORE: If Shreyas Iyer wanted to find his bearings before the World Cup, he wouldn’t have found a better pitch than the one on offer at the Holkar Stadium.
Under pressure to secure his spot in the starting XI, the right-hand batter lapped up the opportunity by bringing up his third ODI century—his first at No. 3—and, more importantly, calming the nerves of the team management, who might have been a tad edgy considering Iyer missed the majority of the Asia Cup due to back spasms.
Iyer’s innings meant India ticked another box with the quadrennial event just around the corner. He and Virat Kohli have shared the responsibility of batting at No. 3 of late, but it remains to be seen whether Iyer and Kohli will be India’s No. 3 and 4 in the World Cup or viceversa.

Iyer, though, with his classy knock against Australia, has done his part and strengthened his bid. On Friday, Iyer’s back held up well—the couple of weeks rest seems to have done the trick—and the shots flew crisply off his bat. He walked out with a swagger—and purpose—the jitters from the Mohali ODI had been put to bed.
The positive intent stayed throughout, whether it was while taking quick singles or hammering bowlers around the park—the trait he has carried throughout his playing career.
The way he was going, he could have added more runs to his tally, but a cramping left forearm meant he couldn’t hold the bat firm to deliver those big blows.

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