IPL 2023: ‘Somebody had to do it’, Venkatesh happy to step in for Shreyas Iyer at No 3

In the five matches that Kolkata Knight Riders have played in Indian Premier League 2023 so far, Venkatesh Iyer has turned out to be their Impact Player. Also in three of those five matches, Venkatesh came in to bat at the No.3 position, a role earlier essayed by his former skipper Shreyas Iyer.

In the five matches that Kolkata Knight Riders have played in Indian Premier League 2023 so far, Venkatesh Iyer has turned out to be their Impact Player. Also in three of those five matches, Venkatesh came in to bat at the No.3 position, a role earlier essayed by his former skipper Shreyas Iyer.

With Shreyas Iyer sitting out of IPL 2023 because of a lower back injury and will be undergoing surgery next week. In his absence, Venkatesh, predominantly an opening bat, has been assigned the role of batting at No 3 and keeping the innings intact.

He essayed that role for the first time this season in the match against defending champions Gujarat Titans and scored 83, helping his team to victory. He came in at No 3 in the next match against Sunrisers Hyderabad but could manage only 10 runs off 11 balls before Marco Jansen sent him packing. Persisting with the role, Venkatesh slammed a belligerent 51-ball 104 against Mumbai Indians, though in a losing cause as Mumbai Indians won by five wickets.

Advertisement

Venkatesh said he is happy to take up 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 up the role of No. 3, which is an important role. I have maintained that I want to be flexible as a cricketer. When he (coach Cbahndrakant Pandit) told me that I have to bat at No 3, the intent did not change,” he said.

“You have to go after the bowling in the powerplay and once I analyze that the ball is not swinging, I take my chances and get the team off to a flier. The tactics are defined then and there, this is a red soil pitch so I had to play much squarer and not straighter,” he said about his innings on Sunday.

Iyer said he would have been happier if his team had won the match.

“Would have been happier if we would have finished on a winning note but nonetheless, pleased with my effort. That’s the role given to me by the management and it’s my job to repay them.

Obviously, it was a very beautiful wicket to bat on. Once you score those 30-40 runs, it gets easy to score. Really happy to get a hundred. Their new ball bowlers are both swing bowlers and once you allow them to settle down, it gets difficult. So I just didn’t want to let them settle. Once the swing goes away, it gets easier to play them,” the left-handed batter said.

Venkatesh had a scare when he suffered a slight injury early in his innings but continued to bat despite the pain.

“Once you’re out there doing something for the team, you forget all the pain. The wicket was really nice and I was enjoying myself out there,” he added.

He agreed that KKR fell short by 15-20 runs but felt that even if they had got those runs, the way their batters batted, Mumbai Indians might have chased that down.

“In hindsight, I think we did score 15-20 runs less, and the way MI were going, they could have scored it in another over but yeah, we were a little short,” he said.

Venkatesh said the wicket had got better when Mumbai Indians batted.

“The way MI hit the ball I felt the wicket got better but you have to give the credit where it is due. They batted really well and the most important aspect was the start that they got. In hindsight, we can talk about scoring 15-20 runs less and the wicket getting better but they out batted us,” Iyer said.

-IANS

“Get more sports news, cricket news, and football updates, log on to sportsdigest.in. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter and Subscribe to our YouTube Channel.”

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More