NEW DELHI: Venkatesh Iyer was in his room after Madhya Pradesh’s Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 match against Kerala on Tuesday. Madhya Pradesh lost the game. But suddenly there was absolutely unexpected good news for the 26-year-old tough all-rounder.
There was a knock on the door. Iyer opened the door to find his MP teammate and talented middle pacemaker Avesh Khan at the door. Avesh smiled and said ‘Bhai congratulations’ and hugged him. Iyer was stunned. He asked Avesh what had happened and the pacemaker brought the news of Iyer’s selection on the Indian team for the upcoming T20I home series against New Zealand. Iyer was thrilled and hugged Avesh, who was also included in the 16-man roster for the T20I series against the Black Caps.
“I’m so happy. I worked really hard for it. Honestly, I didn’t expect that. Every time I go into the middle, I just want to perform and do as many runs as possible for my team For that I am really grateful to the selectors, the captain and all my seniors and coaches. It is every cricketer’s dream to wear an India jersey one day and the day has come. I am so happy. The words are not enough to describe that Avesh brought me this big news, “Iyer told TimesofIndia.com in an exclusive interview.
Up, if you are looking forward to 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙑𝙚𝙣𝙠𝙮 𝙄𝙮𝙚𝙧 𝙎𝙝𝙤𝙬 in BLUE 💙 @ ivenkyiyer2512 #INDvNZ #VenkateshIyer # KKR… https://t.co/hH9YPwA1EB
– KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) 1636469995000
Venkatesh Iyer made headlines in the recently completed IPL Stage 2 2021 when he played for the Kolkata Knight Riders. KKR team leaders decided to open with the very tall left-handed batsman, and they reaped rich dividends thanks to that call. Iyer scored 370 runs in 10 games, averaging 41.11. He also got 37 fours and 14 sixs on his IPL debut with a hit rate of 128.47. Iyer was also named Man of the Game in Qualifier 2 against the Delhi Capitals. He also rolled 8.3 overs in the tournament and took 3 wickets.
Venkatesh Iyer (Image credit: BCCI / IPL)
Iyer’s pyrotechnics with the bat made everyone sit up and notice this lanky and obviously very talented all-rounder and the selectors were no exception. There has been a lot of talk that Iyer should have been part of the Indian World Cup squad as well. While his calling in India can be described as a quick calling, it doesn’t really come as a surprise considering he has proven what a great game changer he can be.
😉 #INDvNZ https://t.co/PhZHNwgtmH
– Wasim Jaffer (@ WasimJaffer14) 1636471442000
Nice to see a champion bowler @yuzi_chahal back in the roster. Good luck with the series .. Win it for India 🇮🇳 #teamindia @BCCI
– Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) 1636472440000
And so Iyer found a place in the 16-strong India squad for the next 3 T20I series against New Zealand at home. The three T20Is will be played as follows – November 17th in Jaipur, November 19th in Ranchi and November 21st in Kolkata.
Although it was his stroke in the IPL that caught everyone’s attention, Iyer is a real all-rounder. He has up to 46 wickets in domestic cricket, in all formats in 87 games. He hits with his left hand, but skittles with his right hand at medium speed.
Venkatesh Iyer (Image credit: BCCI / IPL)
“I am an all-rounder. I look forward to fitting into any role my team (India) wants me to be. I’m not thinking about the opponent at the moment. I’m just looking forward to playing for my team, ”Iyer told TimesofIndia.com.
Incidentally, Iyer is the highest run-getter so far for Madhya Pradesh in the current edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy – 155 runs in 5 games with an average of 51.66 and a hit rate of 140.90 – so far.
“I’ve learned to hit fearlessly. I’ve always wanted to be a fearless hitter. I go hitting with a lot of confidence. I’m ready to hit in any position and throw in any situation,” said Iyer.
With the resignation of Virat Kohli as T20I captain, a new era has begun in which Rohit Sharma will become the new India T20I skipper. There is actually a ton of T20I cricket that the team will play in the future. The next edition of the T20 World Cup will be held in Australia next year.
Venkatesh Iyer (Image credit: Facebook)
“I’m really looking forward to playing for Rohit Bhai. I’m really looking forward to it. He’s such a great player. The team looks really strong. I’m sure we will do a good job. It will be a great learning experience too and “it will be exciting to play under Rohit Bhai,” Iyer told TimesofIndia.com.
CONTINUE TO WORK AND BE FOCUSED – VIRAT KOHLI’S TIPS FOR IYER
After the 2021 IPL season, Iyer was one of the players asked by the BCCI to stay in the UAE as the Net Bowler for the Indian team for the T20 World Cup.
“During the network sessions, I had interactions with most of the older players. Virat Bhai said just focus on what you are doing I will remember these tips from Virat Bhai forever, “Iyer said off.