It was as if the eyes – and the cameras – of all people gathered had been set on auto-focus mode.
India had scheduled an non-obligatory coaching session on a sultry Colombo morning. It was the eve of their final league recreation in opposition to Bangladesh, who had been already knocked out of the boys’s Asia Cup. The eyes had been fastened on the workforce bus because the teaching employees and gamers alighted to move into the nets facility on the R Premadasa Stadium.
Iyer was maybe the busiest of the 5 gamers that turned up for the non-obligatory coaching. He underwent stretching, significantly his again, with the coach Rajnikanth. After about quarter-hour of jogging, he did quick sprints and a stretch-walk, earlier than he proceeded to the third nets, the farthest from the facet the media had been at.
After a brief stint of underarm throwdowns, he proceeded to face fast-bowling throwdowns in addition to a few internet bowlers. Iyer confirmed no seen indicators of discomfort – be it whereas getting ahead whereas lacing the off drive or whereas transferring his weight again to drag and heave the size and back-of-length deliveries. A batting stint – throughout two nets – that began round 10:55 am solely ended when batting coach Vikram Rathour known as time on coaching at round 11:40 am.
A couple of crisp straight drives had the throwdown guys in addition to the online bowlers close to the sightscreen ducking for canopy. A “Properly finished, Shreyas!” by Rathour adopted by sluggish claps capped off a productive morning for Iyer. Whether or not he’ll play in opposition to Bangladesh – or within the ultimate on Sunday – is anyone’s guess. However that Iyer confirmed his readiness after one other scare would please the workforce administration.
Whereas Iyer batted on the far nets, Ravindra Jadeja and Thakur batted in pairs, rotating strike after six balls apiece within the first internet. Tilak and birthday boy Suryakumar Yadav did the identical within the center nets. Even whereas Rathour was feeding balls to Iyer, he had an eye fixed on Tilak, typically throwing in a loud “shot, Tilak!” or “badhiya (glorious), Tilak” cheer in the direction of him.
After about half an hour of nets, Tilak proceeded to bowl his offspin to Jadeja within the first internet. All through the stint he mentioned his grip, the areas to bowl, and flight with Mhambrey, who had a eager eye on proceedings. Mhambrey coached the India Underneath-19 workforce in 2020 in South Africa, of which Tilak was an element.
“Now we have been working with Tilak because the Underneath-19 days,” Mhambrey stated after coaching. “I felt that after we had gone to South Africa for Underneath-19 (World Cup), he had a bowling talent that we might undoubtedly use, and so we now have been engaged on that constantly.
“We want to see if he performs and manages to get an opportunity to bowl even one over, we’ll begin from there. If we are able to take a look at that and achieve confidence from his bowling, the captain could have an choice.
“In case we want an additional spinner given the circumstances – primarily based on circumstances or opposition batters – particularly if there are left-handers and also you want an offspinner, we want an choice to go to. So, we’re working with him on his bowling.”
Whereas Mhambrey conceded that the workforce mixture for the Bangladesh recreation is but to be determined, he stated there’s a probability that India might check out a number of choices given they’ve sealed their spot for the ultimate and there’s a house World Cup within the offing.
No matter Tilak, Jadeja, Shardul or Suryakumar did, although, turned to be a mere footnote given Iyer was the clear focus.
S Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo