Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum has hailed opener Venkatesh Iyer as a genuine all-rounder and even compared him with England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes. Iyer has been on a roll ever since KKR decided to open with him and Shubman Gill and he showed some great skill with the ball as well.
KKR might not be certain of their qualification into the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) playoffs, especially after their recent loss to Punjab Kings (PBKS) but Iyer’s performance against them has cemented the fact that he has been the biggest find for KKR.
The left-hander top-scored for KKR scoring 67 runs off 55 balls while also claiming the big wicket of KL Rahul. Though KKR didn’t go on to win the match against PBKS, head coach Brendon McCullum saw plenty of positives from the game.
“In my view, he’s definitely an all-rounder! When we talk about Venkatesh Iyer it’s not just his cricketing ability, it’s his mindset and cricketing brain and also the fact that he’s got other things going on in his life which means that cricket is not necessarily everything to him.
He has a great perspective on the sport. He is a guy with huge ambitions and a really bright future, not just a batsman but as a genuine all-rounder. The catch he almost pulled off tonight was reminiscent on another great all-rounder who is not playing the game but has been dominant – Ben Stokes. So I think he’s one of those cricketers who’s going to continue to be better and better,” McCullum said in the post-match press conference.
Venkatesh Iyer Belongs At This Level And Is Going To Be Dominant In The Form Of The Game: Brendon McCullum
Iyer, who is a Tamilian from Indore, Madhya Pradesh, came into the IPL 2021 fresh off a brilliant 198 for MP in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. So far in the IPL 2021, he has played 5 matches and made 193 runs at a strike rate of 141.91 with 2 fifties. He also has picked 3 wickets with a best of 2/29 at the economy of 8.53.
The Kiwi coach feels the Indian rookie can really go on to become a dominant player in the T20 circuit.
He said: “I don’t think he’s going to be a consistent player for a little while when it comes to batting just because of his walk to hit the ball which I clearly encourage (chuckles). But you know, I think what he’s done for us already has shown that he belongs at this level and is going to be dominant in the form of the game if he continues to approach it in the same manner as he has so far.”
KKR will next play Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the 49th match of the IPL on October 3rd in Dubai.