Madhya Pradesh all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer was an unknown entity for many before the second leg of the Indian T20 League 2021 season started. The Kolkata franchise coached by Brendon McCullum gave him the opportunity at the top of the order and the rest is history. Iyer did exceptionally well ending as third highest run-getter for the team.
He played only 10 matches in the season amassing 370 runs at an average of 41.11 and the strike-rate of 128.47. Iyer also showcased his all-round credentials bowling his medium pace in four matches and picking up three scalps. His brilliant show led to him being picked as the net bowler in the 20-20 World Cup for India.
Moreover, he continued to impress in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and this led to the selectors handing him a maiden call-up to the India squad for the New Zealand T20Is. Though he has played as an opener through the second leg of the T20 league, it is unlikely that he will get a chance at the top of the order for India.
He could be tried in the middle or lower-middle order and the team management might look to groom him as a finisher. Venkatesh Iyer is not worried about his batting position and is mentally prepared to do whatever he is asked of during the series.
“It’s not new territory for me, batting in the middle order or lower down. I’ve done that for Madhya Pradesh, not just in age-group cricket but also at senior level, so it’s not going to be difficult to adapt to that position.
“It’s one thing to prepare your body, but another thing to train your mind to accept a role, and I’ve already accepted that I will be available for any role that is given to me. So, I’m mentally prepared to give my 100% wherever they ask me to bat or bowl,” Iyer said while speaking to ESPNCricinfo.