Legendary Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar was hoping that fast-bowling all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer will get more opportunities to prove himself than all-rounders Vijay Shankar and Shivam Dube.
Venkatesh Iyer got his maiden India call-up after his brilliant performance in the domestic circuit and the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. He represented Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 10 Indian Premier League (2021) games in the second phase of the tournament and he scored 370 runs and picked 3 wickets.
Iyer was added to the 16-member squad announced by the BCCI for the 3-match T20 Internationals against Kane Williamson-led New Zealand which will begin from November 17 at home. Notably, fast-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya who was India’s first-choice pace all-rounder, who recently played all the World Cup games for India was not included in the squad.
Venkatesh Iyer Can Be Groomed To Bat Down The Order At About No. 6 Or No. 7 – Sunil Gavaskar
Former India captain believes that it will be very beneficial for India if Iyer can be groomed to bat at lower down the order.
“Absolutely (Venkatesh Iyer can be groomed). (Bat) Down the order at about No. 6 or No. 7 and with his medium pace and stuff, we are talking about a 4-over spell. If you can do that, you have got another option,” Gavaskar said.
Shivam Dube and Vijay Shankar are two all-rounders India gave opportunity but they failed to perform consistently and were dropped from the side. Gavaskar feels that over the last 3-4 years India only had one good option which was Hardik Pandya. He added that if India gets more options nobody will “take the place in the team for granted”.
“I think, over the last 3-4 years, we were fixated with just one option that we didn’t deal with someone like Vijay Shankar or Shivam Dube the way we should have but hopefully, with Venkatesh Iyer, he will get more opportunities than these two guys got. That will give us options.
“Once we have more options, then nobody takes the place in the team for granted,” he elaborated.