Shreyas Iyer – From Mumbai, to Delhi Capitals

Santosh Iyer aspired to become a cricketer, but once he graduated, that dream took a backseat. Only to be reignited years later, when his son Shreyas started showing interest in the game. All of four, Shreyas would swing the bat around their Mumbai house, pretending he was India’s next cricketing superstar. But that was good enough for Iyer senior to contemplate about formal cricket training for his son at some point.

Fast forward to the year 2000. Pravin Amre, an old hand in Mumbai cricket, had started an academy for youngsters at the city’s iconic Shivaji Park, with the help of a few colleagues. Among the plethora of applications, Amre picked Shreyas’, and decided to take him under his wings. The young boy didn’t disappoint, getting picked for Mumbai’s U-13 team on his very first trial. By then it was clear that cricket was going to become the centre of Shreyas’ life, and his father didn’t hesitate even once while changing his son’s school to cater to his cricketing needs.

After making the most of the chances he got in the Under-19 Cricket World Cup, scoring 161 at an average of 53.66 and strike rate of 105.22, Shreyas caught attention of the Clifton Village Cricket Club – a Division A club under the Nottinghamshire Cricket Board. His stint in England helped Shreyas learn not just batting on pacer-friendly pitches, but also, how to live alone.

Soon it was time for his debut in India’s premier domestic cricket competition – the Ranji Trophy. A gritty 75 in Mumbai’s do-or-die clash against Uttar Pradesh in the 2015-15 season, brought him under the spotlight. More importantly, after having struggled at the start, it paved the way to the semi-final for Mumbai. The aggressive knock brought alive Mumbai’s spirit, and from struggling initially, the team went on to reach the semi-final. Shreyas Iyer top-scored for Mumbai in his debut season, scoring 809 at an average of 50.56 and strike rate of 75.89, and was promoted from No. 7 to No. 3 by the time the season ended.

The following season, 2015-16, proved to be a defining one, as Shreyas notched up 1321 runs, only next to VVS Laxman’s 1415 at the time in the tally of most runs in a single Ranji season. Scoring at a staggering average of 73.38 and a 90-plus strike rate, Shreyas guided Mumbai to their 41st Ranji title. As a well-deserved reward, he got his India call up soon after.

In the 2015 edition of the IPL, where he represented Delhi Daredevils, Shreyas finished as Emerging Player of the tournament, smashing 439 runs from 14 matches. However, it was during the 2018 season that he had to fill in Gautam Gambhir’s shoes as captain.

The responsibility worked like magic on him. The combination of aggressive-yet-cool was just what was needed when he donned the captain’s cap. On his debut as captain, Shreyas notched up a phenomenal 93 off 40 vs Kolkata Knight Riders, handing Delhi a massive 55-run win at home.

The classic “Delhi vs Mumbai: Which is better?” debate may not have a winner ever. But for Shreyas Iyer, it’s only become tougher to pick a side! With a revamped side, Iyer and Co are raring to go come IPL Season 12, and give Delhi the joy it deserves from its team.

Shreyas Iyer – From Mumbai, to Delhi Capitals

Santosh Iyer aspired to become a cricketer, but once he graduated, that dream took a backseat. Only to be reignited years later, when his son Shreyas started showing interest in the game. All of four, Shreyas would swing the bat around their Mumbai house, pretending he was India’s next cricketing superstar. But that was good enough for Iyer senior to contemplate about formal cricket training for his son at some point.

Fast forward to the year 2000. Pravin Amre, an old hand in Mumbai cricket, had started an academy for youngsters at the city’s iconic Shivaji Park, with the help of a few colleagues. Among the plethora of applications, Amre picked Shreyas’, and decided to take him under his wings. The young boy didn’t disappoint, getting picked for Mumbai’s U-13 team on his very first trial. By then it was clear that cricket was going to become the centre of Shreyas’ life, and his father didn’t hesitate even once while changing his son’s school to cater to his cricketing needs.

After making the most of the chances he got in the Under-19 Cricket World Cup, scoring 161 at an average of 53.66 and strike rate of 105.22, Shreyas caught attention of the Clifton Village Cricket Club – a Division A club under the Nottinghamshire Cricket Board. His stint in England helped Shreyas learn not just batting on pacer-friendly pitches, but also, how to live alone.

Soon it was time for his debut in India’s premier domestic cricket competition – the Ranji Trophy. A gritty 75 in Mumbai’s do-or-die clash against Uttar Pradesh in the 2015-15 season, brought him under the spotlight. More importantly, after having struggled at the start, it paved the way to the semi-final for Mumbai. The aggressive knock brought alive Mumbai’s spirit, and from struggling initially, the team went on to reach the semi-final. Shreyas Iyer top-scored for Mumbai in his debut season, scoring 809 at an average of 50.56 and strike rate of 75.89, and was promoted from No. 7 to No. 3 by the time the season ended.

The following season, 2015-16, proved to be a defining one, as Shreyas notched up 1321 runs, only next to VVS Laxman’s 1415 at the time in the tally of most runs in a single Ranji season. Scoring at a staggering average of 73.38 and a 90-plus strike rate, Shreyas guided Mumbai to their 41st Ranji title. As a well-deserved reward, he got his India call up soon after.

In the 2015 edition of the IPL, where he represented Delhi Daredevils, Shreyas finished as Emerging Player of the tournament, smashing 439 runs from 14 matches. However, it was during the 2018 season that he had to fill in Gautam Gambhir’s shoes as captain.

The responsibility worked like magic on him. The combination of aggressive-yet-cool was just what was needed when he donned the captain’s cap. On his debut as captain, Shreyas notched up a phenomenal 93 off 40 vs Kolkata Knight Riders, handing Delhi a massive 55-run win at home.

The classic “Delhi vs Mumbai: Which is better?” debate may not have a winner ever. But for Shreyas Iyer, it’s only become tougher to pick a side! With a revamped side, Iyer and Co are raring to go come IPL Season 12, and give Delhi the joy it deserves from its team.

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