The batting all-rounder shot to fame in 2021, on the back of consistent scores in the domestic circuit and IPL. After Kolkata Knight Riders’ bought Venkatesh Iyer in IPL 2021 auction, Venkatesh slammed 198 for Madhya Pradesh in Vijay Hazare Trophy.
In the first phase of IPL 2021, KKR secured victories on only two out of eight occasions. However, the team management trusted the abilities of Venkatesh Iyer and put him in the opening slot.
The promotion to the top of the order for Venkatesh Iyer worked wonders for the franchise and the player. KKR emerged as the best team in Phase 2 with five wins in seven appearances and ended as a runner-up as well.
The southpaw finished with 370 runs in 10 innings at an average of 41.11, while picking three wickets as well. For producing a remarkable turnaround for the KKR team, Venkatesh Iyer earned a national call-up.
Rohit Sharma communicated to Venkatesh Iyer about him playing the finisher role
The 27-year-old reckoned that the team already had three openers, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan. As a result, Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid communicated to Venkatesh Iyer, that he will play the role of a finisher.
Furthermore, Venkatesh Iyer thinks that the captain and coach gave him backing for enough games to prove his mettle. Although Venkatesh Iyer felt a bit under-bowled but thinks it was great for the skipper to already have five bowling options.
“And then when I met Rahul sir and he asked me how I used to approach the innings when I used to open and it was communicated to me that I will play the role of a finisher. Rohit bhai and Rahul sir told me that I would be given a string of games to try and execute that role.”
Venkatesh Iyer featured in 2 ODIs and scored 24 runs, while scoring 133 runs in 9 T20Is for the Men in Blue. He picked five wickets in the shortest format as well.
However, the bad IPL 2022 and Hardik Pandya’s fitness paved way for selectors to drop Venkatesh Iyer. He last featured for the Men in Blue in February 2022, and is doing well for MP in domestic cricket.