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‘Don’t want to think about injury, focus on…’: Shreyas Iyer ahead of KKR’s opening game against SRH | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Despite encountering challenges in the month leading up to the IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Shreyas Iyer is determined to push aside any negative thoughts and focus on the opportunities ahead.
Recently omitted from the BCCI central contracts list due to his apparent hesitation to participate in the Ranji Trophy, Iyer showcased his batting prowess by scoring 95 runs in the final for Mumbai despite battling a recurring back injury.
Although the National Cricket Academy (NCA) has granted him clearance to participate in the IPL, they have advised caution regarding his forward lunges. Despite this, the KKR skipper remains confident in his physical condition and is determined to give his best on the field.
“I don’t want to think about what the doctor has said, what the injury was because, as I mentioned previously, when you over-think, put your focus on the injury, and in that moment, forget about what you’re doing the best,” Iyer told mediapersons ahead of team’s opening game against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Kolkata.
“So, I want to put all these things aside and focus on what’s there for me on the plate,” the skipper made his priority clear.
Personally, he feels that he is in good mind space getting into the tournament.
“I have ticked the boxes in every way possible so I am in high spirits,” Iyer added.
“Right now, if I look at myself, I feel that I’m in the best shape possible. I played so many years in the IPL so it’s not that I am completely distant from it. Personally, my preparation has been top-notch.”
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He has done the hard yards and is ready for the big challenge.
“I’ve been doing my training regularly, I’ve been hitting the balls, and I’ve been batting for longer periods of time. So, that is something I’m thriving on.”
Amidst discussions surrounding Iyer and his back injury, particularly following his withdrawal from the Test series against England, the Indian batter has faced additional scrutiny as he finds himself excluded from a central contract ahead of the T20I World Cup in June.
“I’m looking forward to winning the IPL. If you would ask any captain, they would have the same mentality. And that’s why you have to be in the present as much as possible.”
Obviously, he has attracted a lot of negative publicity of late but he doesn’t want to dwell on those aspects.
“If you dwell too much either on past or future, I personally feel that you make a lot of mistakes. So, that’s what I’ve learned over a period of time, that whatever is in your hand, you have to make the best use of it.”
“The decision-making outside of it is not in your hand, and the more you dwell on that, the more mistakes you would be indulging in.
“So I just want to keep doing my work and see to it that I do it right. And if I even do it wrong, I want to learn from it and see to it that I don’t repeat it again.”
The season will also mark a second innings from their two-time IPL winning captain Gautam Gambhir who has returned as a mentor for the upcoming IPL.
KKR have been without a title since 2014 and have finished seventh in last two editions.
“He brings a lot of inputs. Strategically strong, having won two IPLs. Knows a lot about the venue and the opposition teams. Chandu sir (head coach Chandrakant Pandit) and Gautam sir give a lot of inputs. When I talk to them in practice, I get a lot of inputs.
“I have worked with him previously in a different franchise (Delhi) and I know what his mindset is. He is a fearless guy and he gives you a lot of freedom as a captain and also as a player.
“So, I am basically honoured to be playing under him and it gives a lot of pleasure for other players as well in the team to go and express themselves with freedom.
“Boys are in high spirits, to be honest. For me, particularly coming after a year, it gives me great pleasure to be back with the team. Looking at the spirits, I am also motivated internally.”
KKR also have revamped their pace bowling lineup by signing Mitchell Starc as the costliest ever buy of the IPL.
“Motivation is always good from the start. When Starc is in, it brings a lot of advantage. He can bowl anywhere, be it in powerplay, middle overs, or death. He carries a lot of experience. It’s good for our youngsters as well.”
(With PTI inputs)

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