The Indian Premier League (IPL) culminated with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) adding the fourth IPL trophy to their cabinet. At the post-match conference, CSK skipper MS Dhoni said that if any team deserved to win the IPL, it was Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). The statement aptly justifies how much of an impact KKR had on the tournament. They were down and out in the first half of the tournament, having won just two of their seven games. However, they scripted a remarkable turnaround in UAE, sweeping everything that came their way. They won five of their seven league games, defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore ( RCB) in the Eliminator and Delhi Capitals (DC) in the Qualifier 2.
One of the noticeable changes in the team post resumption was their attitude. They played fearless cricket and it seemed they were not scared to lose. Venkatesh Iyer played a crucial role in KKR’s turnaround providing the team with solid starts. Even in the final he set up the chase with a brilliant half century before the middle-order collapsed. Overall, Iyer scored 370 runs in ten games this season.
KKR head coach Brendon McCullum lauded Iyer and said he played the role of a catalyst in KKR’s juggernaut in the second leg. McCullum said that Iyer might not be very consistent due to his flamboyance but is destined to have a great future ahead.
“He (Iyer) will be challenged to change his methods at times too. He might not necessarily be the most consistent because of his flamboyancy. But I hope he remains the Venkatesh Iyer that we have seen so far. He’s got an enormous future in this game and he’s a very intelligent man. He was a big catalyst for our turnaround this season,” McCullum said at the post-match press conference.
Iyer is someone who likes to take the game to the opposition. His positive attitude will be a big plus for the team. McCullum, who himself was known for his attacking gameplay, said he hopes that Iyer stays the same and don’t change his game.
“For him, it was a matter of bringing the game which he owns – the Venkatesh Iyer game plan to the table, which is aggressive intent. He’s a big presence, he’s a tall man. He plays the game with a bit of a cavalier kind of streak. And that is so important that he holds on to it,” said the KKR head coach.