Kanpur: India batter Shreyas Iyer said that his mindset during his knock of 65 in the second innings against New Zealand was to play as many balls as possible while being focused on the present scenario. During his important knock in the second innings, Iyer also became the first Indian batter to get a century in the first innings (105) and then follow it up with a half-century in second innings on Test debut.

“I had been in this situation before as well, not with the Indian team but with my Ranji team. Mindset was to play the session and play as many balls as possible. I wasn’t thinking too far ahead, I was just focusing on the present,” said Iyer in a chat with the host broadcasters after Day 4’s play.

The 26-year-old revealed that head coach Rahul Dravid had told him to bat for a longer period in the second innings.

“Rahul Sir had told me to bat as many balls as possible and I was determined to do that. We felt that 250 including the first innings lead would have been a good score, so we’re very happy with where we are now.”

Iyer expressed delight over reaching the landmark but insisted that the main focus is still on India winning the first Test. For India to do so, it has to pick nine wickets with New Zealand still needing 280 runs on day five. “I knew about it. When I came back, one of my teammates told me about it. Yeah, many others have done it from other teams but I was told I am the first from India. It feels good but the most important thing is to win the match.”

Iyer signed off by saying that the troika of spinners in the Indian team can lead them to a win on Monday. “Actually, not a lot was happening with the wicket today. The ball was keeping a bit low. The talk was to get to a competitive total and I feel that it’s a really good total. We have real spin power, so hopefully we can get the job done tomorrow.”