Shreyas Iyer after India’s lethal attack vs Sri Lanka: ‘Lucky to not play against Shami, Siraj, Bumrah’

India's Mohammed Siraj celebrates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's Sadeera Samarawickrama, caught by Shreyas Iyer  (REUTERS)
India's Mohammed Siraj celebrates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's Sadeera Samarawickrama, caught by Shreyas Iyer (REUTERS)

Cricketer Shreyas Iyer has said Indian batters are “lucky” they don’t have to go up against their own teammates Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj.

The three Indian pacers destroyed Sri Lanka’s batting line-up in an ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 match on Thursday.

Shami, Bumrah and Siraj spared no batter from the opposition as Sri Lanka fell 14 for 6 during their chase of 358 against India at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. The Sri Lankans were eventually bowled out for 55, the lowest total in a Cricket World Cup match by a full-member team.

A reporter asked Iyer during the post-match conference, after India’s emphatic 302-run victory, if Indian batters ever thought of a scenario where they would have to play against the pacers.

“Yeah, looking at today’s bowling and the previous game, definitely, we are lucky not to play against them,” said Iyer, who scored 82 runs off 56 balls at his home ground Wankhede Stadium.

“But at the same time, we batted them in the nets. So, it gives us an added motivation to come and play any sort of bowlers,” he said.

India captain Rohit Sharma also heaped praise on his bowlers while singling out Siraj.

“He [Siraj] has got a lot of skills when he is operating with the new ball,” Sharma said.

The Indian team, the hosts of World Cup 2023, have produced stellar performances with the ball in two consecutive games, having defeated England by 100 runs on 29 October in Lucknow.

“To put in a performance back-to-back against England and now today, shows the quality of the seamers and if there is something in the conditions, they are quite lethal,” said Sharma.

“All in all, it was pleasing to watch (bowlers dominating proceedings) and I hope they continue to do it that way.”

The Indian skipper also revealed that he gives his bowlers and wicket-keeper full freedom to decide if the team should take a Decision Review System (DRS) or not.

On Thursday, Siraj finished with excellent figures of 3 for 16 in his seven-over spell, while Bumrah claimed the wicket of Sri Lanka opener Pathum Nissanka, becoming the first Indian bowler to make a dismissal a on the very first ball of a team innings during a 50-over World Cup match.

The right-arm pacer may have claimed just one wicket, but he gave away just eight runs in his five-over spell.

Shami earned the Player of the Match for his five-wicket haul that cleaned up Sri Lanka’s middle and nearly the lower order as well.

He finished with figures of 5 for 18 in five overs as he also became India’s all-time leading wicket-taker in the Cricket World Cup. The fast bowler has 45 wickets from just 14 matches at a staggering average of 12.91.

The latest fifer took Shami’s five-wicket haul tally in 50-over World Cups to three, the same as Australian pacer Mitchell Starc. No other bowler has taken more fifers than these two in the history of the tournament.