IPL 2023: ‘Someone had to do it’, Venkatesh happy to step in for Shreyas Iyer’s third
MUMBAI, April 16 (IANS) In the five matches played by Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2023 IFL Indian Premier League so far, Venkatesh Iyer has turned out to be an Impact player. Also in three of those five matches, Venkatesh came to bat at number three, a role that his former captain Shreyas Iyer had introduced earlier.
With Shreyas Iyer missing IPL 2023 due to a lower back injury he will undergo surgery next week. In his absence, Venkatesh, who was mostly an opening bat, was assigned the role of batting at No. 3 and keeping the innings intact.
He made the role for the first time this season in the match against the defending champions Gujarat Titans and scored 83 goals, helping his team to victory. He came in at number three in the next match against Sunrisers Hyderabad but could only manage 10 off 11 balls before Marco Jansen sent him off for the bagging. Continuing in this role, Venkatesh slammed a batting 51-ball 104 against the Mumbai Indians, though in a lost cause as the Mumbai Indians won by five wickets.
Venkatesh said he was happy to take on the role and was flexible enough to take on any role assigned to him by the coaches.
“Shreyas is not in the team, he is injured and someone had to take over the role of No. 3, which is an important role. I emphasized that I wanted to be flexible as a cricketer. When (coach Cbahndrakant Pandit) told me I should bat at No. 3, the intent did not change. “.
“You have to chase the bowling into the powerplay and as soon as I analyze the ball doesn’t swing I take my chances and rake the team in for a run. Tactics are decided right then and there, this is a red pitch so I had to bowl more squarer rather than straighter,” he said of roles on Sunday.
Iyer said he would have been happier if his team had won the match.
“We could have been happier if we had finished with the win but nonetheless, I am happy with my effort. This is the role that management has given me and it is my job to repay it.
It was clearly a very nice wicket to bat on. Once you score those 30-40 points, it’s easy for you to score. Really happy to get a hundred. New ball bowlers are both swing and once you let them settle in, it gets tough. So I didn’t want to let them settle. “Once the swing is gone, it’s easier to play,” said the left-handed batter.
Venkatesh got scared when he took a slight hit early in his innings but kept batting despite the pain.
“Once you do something for the team, you forget all the pain. The wickets were really great and I was having fun there.”
He agreed that KKR fell short by 15-20 runs but felt that even if they had succeeded, the way their fighters fought, the Mumbai Indians might have chased it away.
“In hindsight, I think we scored 15-20 points less, the way MI was going, they could have scored it in again but yeah, we were a little short,” he said.
Venkatesh said his wickets had improved when he batted the Mumbai Indians.
“The way MI hit the ball felt like the wicket improved but you have to give credit where it’s right. They batted really well and the most important aspect was the starts they got. In hindsight we can talk about scoring 15-20 runs less and the wicket improved but they beat us Ayer said.