Updated May 2nd, 2024 at 23:14 IST

Iyer one of the strongest mentally, will overcome disappointments: Nayar

Kolkata Knight Riders' assistant coach Abhishek Nayar said on Thursday that Shreyas Iyer had taken some major disappointments, including an injury setbacks ahead of a crucial international season, in a "positive way" and will return to the grind of playing domestic cricket to come back stronger.

Shreyas Iyer | Image:AP
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Kolkata Knight Riders' assistant coach Abhishek Nayar said on Thursday that Shreyas Iyer had taken some major disappointments, including an injury setbacks ahead of a crucial international season, in a "positive way" and will return to the grind of playing domestic cricket to come back stronger.

Iyer was grappling with a back problem ahead of IPL 2024 and there were reports he could even miss a few games for KKR in IPL 2024. But the skipper has come back strongly, scoring more than 250 runs, including a half century.

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The BCCI also dropped Iyer from the annual central contract list.

"Mentally, to have a mindset like that after being rejected or not getting his due, he has taken it very positively. Even when he talks about it, he is not negative, he understands he needs to go back and do well," Nayar told the media during KKR's training session.

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"His mindset is to score runs, whether he plays the IPL, the Ranji Trophy or for India. He looks to score runs, it (disappointments) has affected him but the way he has handled it, kudos to him because I can imagine a lot of people reacting very differently than he has," he added.

"Having known him for a really long time, without any bias, he is one of the strongest people mentally I have ever known, just in terms of how he has accepted certain things that have happened with him.

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"I would have seen a lot of people cribbing and talking about it, but I haven't heard him whine about it or complain about it at all. The way he has approached life is in a positive manner, what is in front of you, you try and accept it.

"His fitness is in his control, and he is feeling a lot better now. He is great on the field, he is batting longer hours, he's trained really hard. Our strength and conditioning (coaches) and physios have worked hard with him," Nayar added.

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Under Iyer's captaincy, KKR have secured six victories in nine games and are placed second on the table with 12 points, which positions them strongly to progress to the playoffs. But Nayar did not want to commit anything.

"I wish I could tell you that 16 (points) is good or 14 is good, but we never know. I think this competition is one of the toughest in the world. It's a two-month competition which is a long competition,” said Nayar.

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He drew parallels between IPL and Ranji Trophy, saying teams have to perform consistently throughout the tournament to achieve their goals.

"I often think about it like a Ranji Trophy, wherein you have to constantly play well and it's not so much about how you play the first half but it's also as important to play the second," he said.

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"Just in terms of points, we have seen teams that have been at the bottom of the table do really well against table toppers. It's very hard to say this is going to be safe and this is enough. The more (points) the merrier (it is) for any team," Nayar added.

Giving an update on batter Nitish Rana, Nayar said no timeline had been set for his return from a finger injury.

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"He is on his way back to recovery. We are hoping that he is fit soon. We don't have the timelines yet. But hopefully, he (has) started batting now. Still, getting match-fit is something he is working towards," Nayar said.

Nayar said the motivation to beat Mumbai on their home turf, be it the IPL or Ranji Trophy, drives several rival sides.

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"...wanting to go out and beat Mumbai, whether it is Ranji Trophy or the IPL, everyone wants to beat Mumbai," he said. 

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Published May 2nd, 2024 at 23:14 IST