I feel Ranji Trophy more difficult than India A, says Shreyas Iyer

Shreyas Iyer feels the burden of expectations becomes as challenging as the conditions while playing Ranji Trophy.

Shreyas Iyer is of the opinion that performing in Ranji Trophy is more challenging than representing India A.   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

Being a fringe player for India, Shreyas Iyer is an India A regular for more than three years now.

The swashbuckling Mumbai batsman doesn’t hesitate in admitting at times, Ranji Trophy is more challenging than India A tours for players like him who are expected to be at their best upon their return to their domestic sides.

“Sometimes I feel Ranji Trophy is more difficult than India A. When it comes to India A, you have already performed consistently in Ranji Trophy, proven your worth and have come to a higher level,” Iyer told Sportstar in an interview after Mumbai’s disappointing loss to Vidarbha on the New Year’s day.

READ: Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Mumbai drop Tare, Iyer rested

“You play along with players from other states and with so many exposure tours, you are sort of settled into the India A set-up along with other regulars. Suddenly coming back to Ranji Trophy, you have to get re-acquainted with some of the players in the state team whom you may not have played with.”

Having missed the first half of Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy campaign since he was first in Australia as part of India’s Twenty20 squad and then joined the India A team for its limited overs’ leg in New Zealand, Iyer joined the Mumbai team hours after his arrival from Down Under last month.

He felt the burden of expectations becomes as challenging as the conditions.

“The transition from white-ball to red-ball does make it difficult. It’s not that easy but at the same time, when you come back to Ranji Trophy, you carry the burden of the team,” he said.

“You have got to show that you are playing at India A level and you have to carry the same form into the Ranji Trophy; people are looking up to you when you come back to Ranji from higher levels. Coping with that pressure is also something as a professional you have to adapt to such circumstances.”

Emotionless, yet passionate

Iyer described 2018 as a year of “ups and downs”, where it started well for him “in South Africa and carried on to the Mumbai T20 League and the IPL.”

He then had a loss of form “in England and against Australia A and South Africa A” but ended well with “five centuries in less than three months starting with two consecutive hundreds in the Vijay Hazare Trophy”.

READ: Ranji Tropy 2018-19: Competition is a good thing, says Siddarth Kaul

At the same time, 2018 was a year of waiting for him, with patiently waiting for a call-up and a consistent run with the national team in at least one format.

The “waiting game” as he refers to, has made him “emotionless” about pondering over selection issues.

“Emotionless I am only about selection, not about the game,” he stressed.

“Cricket will always be my passion. Obviously, winning and losing will continue to create emotions of all sorts but all I am doing right now is being emotionless when it comes to selection. It has happened over the years.”