The best place for me to bat is No. 3: Shreyas

Iyer just won the Player-of-the-Series Award following the whitewash of Sri Lanka in the T20I series

Dharamsala: Shreyas Iyer relishes finishing off games, but, on the back of his excellent run in the T20Is against Sri Lanka, he has expressed his desire to bat at No.3, the place which is normally reserved for Virat Kohli.

Shreyas, who got a chance in the side after Kohli was given a bio-bubble rest following the second T20I against the West Indies, cracked three fifties against Sri Lanka to ensure a 3-0 sweep for the hosts.

"I'm not keeping any expectations from myself nor from the team coaches because if you see the competition in our team, it's immense.

"Every individual is capable of winning you games. Personally I want to enjoy each and every moment and opportunity, which I've been provided with.

"I like to finish off the games and that's like my mindset whenever I go onto the pitch," he said.

Given a choice however, Shreyas added that he would prefer batting at No 3.

"Obviously in this format, top-three is the only place where you can pace your innings pretty well. Otherwise if you bat down the order you can't give yourself time you need to start going from ball one.

"So yeah, if I had to say the best number to bat for me personally, it's obviously No. 3," he said.

He is not losing sleep over keeping his place in what is shaping up to be a formidable middle-order, instead preferring to "cherish" his good form in the run-up to the T20 World Cup.

The man, who has just won the Player-of-the-Series Award following the whitewash of Sri Lanka in the T20I rubber, is aware of the cut-throat competition in the team.

"Personally, I want to cherish this moment, I've achieved really good totals in the series," Shreyas, who scored 204 runs at a strike rate of 174, said at the post-match media interaction on Sunday night.

"I want to relax a bit, give myself time and not think much beyond because it's something that if I start thinking from right on I won't be able to focus when I'll be playing on the ground. So I'm just staying in the moment now."

Shreyas, who fetched the third highest bid of Rs 12.25 crore when he was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL 2022 auction earlier this month, did not get a chance in the first two T20Is against West Indies.

The batter now has four fifties in his last five matches which includes an 80 against West Indies in an ODI earlier this month.

Asked whether he feels he has sealed his place for the T20 World Cup in Australia, he said: "I think it's way wrong to think about right now.

"I can't talk about cementing my place because as I mentioned earlier as well, the competition is so much.

"You need to be flexible in terms of batting in any position, or any given situation.

"So my mindset is just to, you know, grab as many opportunities as I can and see to it that I maximise the use of it."

His game against the short-pitched ball was earlier found to be a suspect, but Shreyas said he has not given much attention to it and kept working on his strengths.

Doesn't matter if you think I've weakness against short-ball


The Australian pacers have in the past exploited his frailties against the short ball, especially in the white ball formats of the game, and coach Rahul Dravid was recently seen working with him at the nets.

"Honestly, I've not worked on it. I'm just playing the way I used to... If you have the right mindset, you can play any ball.

"It does not make any difference to me if you think I've weakness against the short-pitch ball.

"I've obviously reached this level playing the short balls. You don't have to prepare separately for this," he said.

"Every player has strengths and weaknesses, and while focusing too much on your weakness, you should not forget your strength."

"My mindset is that I will focus on my strength. I know from inside how I play, and obviously, you have seen the results," he added.

Despite the success in the series, Shreyas had to overcome some difficult moments in the first match in Lucknow, he conceded.

"In the first game itself, when I'd batted 12 balls and had 12 runs, I thought I need to charge on from there, because I didn't get that proper start," he said.

"In the last two games, the starts I got were really good, and from there it's easy to manoeuvre and manipulate the field. But when you don't get starts, it's really important you get your eyes in, and you can target a particular bowler.

"That really worked out for me in the first game," he concluded.

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