NZ vs IND: Shreyas Iyer continues to be among the runs, slams maiden ODI century

The middle-order batsman scores a 107-ball 103 in the first ODI in Hamilton on Wednesday.

Shreyas Iyer celebrates his century at Seddon Park on Wednesday. - AP

Shreyas Iyer slammed his maiden ODI century against New Zealand at the Seddon Park in Hamilton on Wednesday, continuing his run of good form.

Iyer began in cautious fashion, scoring 15 off the first 29 balls he faced. It was a period in which there were two spilled half-chances. But as the innings wore on, Iyer became more assured; he sauntered to his hundred off 101 deliveries. He was eventually dismissed for a 107-ball 103, an innings studded with 11 fours and a six.

Last month, Iyer scored a match-winning 29-ball 58 in his first T20I away from home, in Auckland. He emerged as the second-highest run-getter in the five-match series for India, with 153 runs and an average of 51.

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With experience, Iyer is maturing into a responsible middle-order batsman and his knocks of 70 and 53 against the West Indies in the ODI series last year bore witness to that. “I think [restraint] comes with maturity and responsibility. I was a flamboyant player when I started playing First-Class cricket. I used to just back my instincts and go with the flow. Lately, I have realised that when you play at the highest level, you have to play according to what the team demands," Iyer had said earlier.

Since the 2015 World Cup, India has tried out as many as 14 players at No. 4 in ODI cricket: Ambati Rayudu, M. S. Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, K. L. Rahul, Vijay Shankar, Manoj Tiwary, Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav have all had a crack without cementing the place. That Iyer, with the attacking instinct and temperament, is easing into this position will please the Indian team management.

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