Mumbai, India - The hub of the country. It is a place where culture meets trends, where technology transcends people and is available to everyone, truly one of the cultural hubs and also a cultural capital of this land known as India. Mumbai has provided India with a lot of gems over time and cricketing talent from Mumbai has been prominent as well. The Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar who is considered by most as the greatest to have graced the game is from Mumbai. Ravi Shastri, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and etc. are from Mumbai as well to name a few. Another up and coming player who has shown glimpses to be included in the list of quality cricketers from this city is Shreyas Iyer.
Shreyas Iyer was born in the South of Mumbai near Worli and he started playing the game at the age of 10. Pravin Amre was the one who spotted this young boy playing some brilliant strokes at the very famous Shivaji Park Gymkhana in Mumbai. The raw talent possessed by Iyer was spotted by Praveen Amre early on.
He played brilliantly in his college days paving a way for him to enter the Under-19 World Cup in 2014 for the Indian side. He didn't reach his ceiling and did not grab this opportunity by all forces possible and thus was not noticed by the selectors. He then went on to play for the Trent Bridge Cricket Team in England. This track suited him as he played well and scored 297 runs in just three outings. Iyer brought back this confidence with him to play the domestic competitions in India and scored an incredible 809 runs in his maiden Ranji season as well. In the 2015/16 season of Ranji, he scored a ridiculous amount of 1321 runs which was amassed by 7 fifties and 4 hundreds with an average of 73.39. These statistics show the true value of the talent that is yet to be unleashed by Iyer.
Indian T20 League is a brilliant platform for young Indian players to shine and pave their way to the Indian team. In the 2015 auction, Iyer's price reached a massive 2.6 crores from a base price of Rs. 10 lakhs where he was bought by the Delhi Daredevils, making him the highest-paid uncapped player of 2015. His fiery style of batting had not gone unnoticed as he scored 439 runs in his maiden IPL season.
A double century against the visiting Australians in a practice game in 2017 put him in the reckoning and he was eventually picked in the squad for the final Test of the Australia series when skipper Virat Kohli got injured. But he did not make an appearance. Then in the same year, he made his T20 debut against New Zealand. Shortly after, he represented India for the first time in the 50-over format against Sri Lanka.
There is no doubt about the talent possessed by Iyer but his form and consistency have always posed a question mark for the selectors. He hasn't been able to cement a position in either the ODI or T20 teams for India. Even in the Indian T20 League, the seasons from 2016 to 2017 have been oscillating from scoring 30 runs in 2016 to 336 runs in 2017. But the year 2018 was a successful one for him as he was performing with the bat and mid-way through the campaign he was made the captain of the team as Gambhir dropped himself out due to his bad performances.
Shreyas has an abundance of talent which needs to be unleashed but it always seems like something is missing in his groove which holds him back and doesn't let him shine. Maybe another great season in the Indian T20 League with the bat and his captaincy might help him cement a solid position in the Indian team. He will be looking to add his name to the list of great players that have emerged from the city of Mumbai and with the determination and grit he has displayed, it is only a matter of time before he takes the giant leap towards being a core member of the Indian Cricket Team.