Was motivated by Australian sledging: Iyer

Mumbai, Feb 18 (IANS) Australians are known to indulge in sledging and India A batsman Shreyas Iyer got a dose of it during the penultimate day of the three-day warm-up match against the visitors here on Saturday.

The in-form Iyer was batting on 85 at the close of the second day’s play, having put on a 50-run partnership along with Hardik Pandya. India A were on 176/4 at stumps, trailing the visitors’ first innings score of 469/7 declared by 293 runs.

Iyer claimed that he was targeted by Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade and star batsman David Warner during his knock.

The 22-year-old however, asserted that the provocative words only prompted him to perform better.

“They started to sledge and said ‘this guy does not have defence, he can play only attacking shots’. It was first Wade and then Warner too joined in,” Iyer said at the end of the day’s play.

“But I am used to this type of sledging, having toured Australia with India A teams in the past.”

Iyer was happy with his performance on Saturday and is confident of being selected for the India team in the near future.

“I don’t think much on that, I try to play and score as many runs as possible. The side is packed (at present), but I know I will get a chance definitely to play for the country,” he said.

Iyer also praised the Australian spinners, specially off-spinner Nathan Lyon and rated them higher that the Bangladesh tweakers who he faced during a tour match in Hyderabad earlier this month.

“They are very good, especially Lyon, they don’t give much flight. They are a lot better than the spinners (I faced) of Bangladesh. I had to come down the track to hit the big shots,” he said.