After joining up with the Test squad after the limited-overs leg of the New Zealand series in Kanpur, Shreyas Iyer had no idea he would be making his Test debut soon. Despite the events leading up to the first Test, Shreyas walked out at #4 to revive India's innings.
His first red-ball appearance in nearly three years didn't show in his performance on Thursday, as he paced his innings to perfection, finishing unbeaten at 75. Despite a sleepless night, the start of his red-ball career at the highest level ended with the 'best feeling' as he scored a century.
"It was like a fairy tale to be honest... it's a great feeling the way everything panned out, I was very happy but not satisfied with the way I got out," Shreyas said at the close of play on Day 2.
"The last (red-ball) match I played was almost three years back. I took this (Test debut) up as an opportunity and a challenge because once you play white-ball cricket for so long, then getting back to red-ball cricket is a different ball game. That mindset has to be set and the focus has to be on point. I know that I've got skills [for the red-ball game], that was what I really focused on."
"Before the game they said that you don't have to change anything because you've played this game before, you've played Ranji Trophy so well, and scored so many runs."
The ease with which he took to the format vindicated Rahane and Dravid's words, and also Shreyas's own conviction. He played as he belonged with a knock (105) that revived India from a precarious position of 145 for 4.
"My aim is to think about today, not about what's going to happen in the next game, because if I think about that, I won't be in the present and won't be able to perform on a given day. Whatever happens, happens for the best. I'll take it in my stride and move forward," Shreyas said.
"Whenever I go for training, he [Amre] keeps saying you've achieved a lot in your life - you've been the captain of an IPL team, you've scored so many runs. but that was in white-ball cricket. But your main achievement would be when you receive your Test cap. I'm sure he'll be happy that I received it. And he said 'I'll only come to your place for dinner if you score a century.' So, after today's century, I am going to message and invite him for dinner," Shreyas said.