KKR’s Venkatesh Iyer’s transition from No.6 to start

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Chandrakanth Pandit, India’s former wicketkeeper and renowned domestic coach, still remembers the day when Syed Mushtaq Ali, who had a thin, bearded Venkatesh Iyer, decided to open the innings for Madhya Pradesh in the T20 tournament last season. Until then, Iyer was the number six batsman, he was hesitant even when called upon to go against the new ball, but Pandit was adamant.

“He was hesitant, but the way he was batting, I felt he had something to change the game. I did a similar move with Yusuf Pathan in the Western Zone game. He didn’t open it either but I did it because somewhere that ability would be wasted,” Pandit told The Indian Express. .

Venkatesh Iyer “Vengi (Venkatesh Iyer), I think the way he came and played was great. Of course, the brand of cricket we want to play. We have a lot of talent within our team,” Morgan praised him after the match against RCB. (Twitter / KKR)

Pandit reassured the youngster by assuring him that he would not be dropped even if he failed as a starter.

“I told Iyer that even if he gets 0 in the next five games, he will retain his place.” It turned the tide, after which Iyer never looked back.

Pandit also suggested a batting change, which proved to be a game changer for Iyer.

“He has different bat speeds and plays with power. Previously, his bat came very high above his head. In domestic cricket, I told him he would not face any problem, but at the highest level, it would create a problem. So now his bat is from waist height. Is coming, ”Pandit added.

On Thursday, when he started the innings for the Kolkata Knight Riders, he took a fifty (53 off 30 balls) against the Mumbai Indians. Before the IPL attention, Iyer made waves in the domestic round.

In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Iyer scored 227 runs in five innings at a strike rate of 149.34. Then in the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy, Iyer scored 198 off 146 balls against Punjab.

The plate caught everyone’s attention and he was soon asked to fly to Mumbai for trials for the Kolkata Knight Riders. And he was signed by the owner.

Anand Rajan, a close friend of Iyer and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, recalled the time when Iyer had to make one of the most difficult decisions of his life. A well-known multi-national company offered a large salary to join them in Hyderabad. Iyer was still wondering if he had the wherewithal to build it on the big stage. He was then 25 years old, with an MBA in finance.

He was in two minds about his next move. He was keen to continue playing cricket and decided to continue playing and realized that jobs could be waiting for now. He is very clear in his thought process, which is rare in this generation. His clear head helps him make the right decisions. He has a B plan, which is his job. Rajan said.

He cheated to implement both plans. As such, this one time, on an internal selection day during his MBA, his state team played a training game against Chhattisgarh. Decided to do both. He finished the exam and went straight to play the game. The match was crucial as he scored a century and was called up to represent Madhya Pradesh’s Ranji Trophy team. He passed that exam.

Pandit said he was disappointed that Iyer was benched during the first phase of the IPL. He called me and said it was hard to sit outside. I told him that you will learn by sitting down, so wait, wait for your chance, ”said Pandit. When it came, he introduced the white ball and him to the public imagination.



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