This team doesn’t have a tail, says Shreyas

“That's one of the things we keep talking about in our team meetings that this team actually doesn't have a tail,” Shreyas Gopal said after hitting an unbeaten 150 that virtually sealed the Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Mumbai on Saturday

Karnataka's last four wickets added 249 runs, including three big partnerships, with Shreyas as a constant in all of them.   -  PTI

A majority of all-rounders who bat at No. 7 have to master the craft of playing a second fiddle to specialist batsmen and farming strike while batting with the tail. But if you are Shreyas Gopal – who plays at that position for Karnataka – the latter skill does not apply, for the all-rounder insists Karnataka's batting order does not have a tail in its conventional sense.

“That's one of the things we keep talking about in our team meetings that this team actually doesn't have a tail,” Shreyas said after hitting an unbeaten 150 that virtually sealed the Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Mumbai on Saturday. “If you see, Mithun and I had a 100-run partnership against Delhi and here me and Arvind almost had another 100-run partnership for the 10th wicket. It gives me that much more confidence.”

Ranji Trophy QF: Shreyas virtually seals the deal for Karnataka

Karnataka's last four wickets added 249 runs, including three big partnerships, with Shreyas as a constant in all of them. The last-wicket stand of 92 between him and S. Arvind took the game further away from Mumbai at the VCA Stadium. “Even if you see, when I rotated strike, there was no hesitancy that I had to bat four or five balls, very rarely did I do that... I think the confidence and the ability that they are showing is tremendous. I am just lucky to have partners like them down the order.”

Shreyas’ innings – his highest in first-class cricket – was his first hundred in more than two years. The last two seasons saw him going through a lull with the willow. But this season, he has turned the tide around – tallying 352 runs at a remarkable average of 88. According to him, he hasn't changed his work ethic much.

“It's just spending a lot of time in the nets and watching the videos of my second year – when we won the Ranji Trophy the second time (in succession), I had a very good season with the bat. It was just a matter of time that with that effort and with that work ethic, the results are following,” he said. “It's a very good feeling but I just need to know that it's just the starting of the tournament, of the whole season. I need to be able to last the whole season with the same approach and the same mentality.”