Team India lost their first match on tour of New Zealand as the hosts defeated the Men in Blue by seven wickets in the 1st One-Day International(ODI) on Friday. Batting first, Shikhar Dhawan and Co. put 306/7 in 50 overs, with half-centuries by captain Dhawan, Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer. Iyer top-scored with 80 off 76 balls for India in the match. In reply, New Zealand chased down the target of 307 runs, with wicket-keeper batter Tom Latham hitting his career-best score of 145* off 104 balls and captain Kane Williamson playing the supporting role with 94 off 98 balls.

In the match, Iyer batted at No.3 where Virat Kohli usually bats when he plays for Team India. In the post match press conference, Iyer was questioned about the uncertainty over his place in the playing XI. He was asked: “Now there are so many options for every position in India’s Playing XI, you know that senior players are there occupying those places and youngsters like you only get the opportunity when back to back series like these are there, so what’s your approach in such situation?”

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“My approach is always optimistic. I don’t like thinking too much about the future. I concentrate on what’s in my hands which is training and as back to back games are happening, i want to ensure that my fitness level is very good. My mindset is to keep performing consistently and be in the present,” said Iyer.

“Players toh aate Jaate rahenge( Players will keep coming and leaving), the consistency is going to matter. So that is my mindset now and accha bura toh hote rahega, upar neeche hote rahta hai har ek ke career mein toh main apne aap ko kisi bhi tarah motivate karte dekhta hun kisi bhi situation me( Things keep changing, everyone’s career sees ups and downs. So I just keep myself motivated in all situations) and I just turn a deaf ear when people are talking outside. I just try to be in my zone and that is what helps me,” he explained.

Interestingly, Iyer has been in and out of India’s playing XI in last few years due to multiple changes in the squad and experimentations in the team. The right-handed batter has had to bat in various positions in the batting order too. He had lost his place to Kohli during India’s tour of England.

Iyer has been named in the squad for India’s upcoming tour of Bangladesh but the return of seniors Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul might spoil his chances for a place in the playing XI.

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