‘Bat me at any position, I’ll score runs; give me the ball, I’ll take wickets’ – Venkatesh Iyer on future role in India team
As a cricketer, I should be ready for everything, Iyer said further.
Updated - Nov 24, 2021 11:34 am
After showing some glimpses of becoming an answer to India’s seam-bowling all-rounder questions amid unclarity over Hardik Pandya’s future, Venkatesh Iyer is ready to mould himself according to the team’s need.
The Madhya Pradesh cricketer, who was handed his maiden international cap against New Zealand in the recent T20I series, stressed upon the need to “put the team first” and understands the need to contribute in each department of the game to justify his all-rounder tag.
Iyer was named by the selectors after an impressive second leg of the IPL 2021 with the Kolkata Knight Riders, as he tallied 370 runs in 10 innings at 41.11 apart from showing his ability to contribute handily with the ball.
Even though his maiden series did not produce massive personal results (he scored 36 runs in three matches and bowled only once, picking one wicket in the final T20I in Kolkata), Iyer certainly displayed himself as a bright prospect for the team in the limited opportunities he got.
“It is always good to contribute in multiple departments. I am an all-rounder and I need to be ready in all three departments – batting, bowling as well as fielding. I don’t want to focus on the competition part. If I am picked, it’s my duty to perform,” Iyer told Times of India.
“Whatever challenge comes my way, I will accept it. As a cricketer, I should be ready for everything. If my captain asks me to bowl, I will bowl as many overs as needed and pick wickets. If my captain asks me to bat, I will go to the middle and score as many runs for my team as possible,” he said of his future role in the team.
“As a batsman, I need to be flexible to bat at any position. For this, I have prepared myself mentally. Be it opening the innings, No. 3. No 5, or lower down the order, send me, I will score runs. When you are representing your country, you need to play according to the team. You need to put the team first,” he added.
Rohit bhai handed me the winning trophy and said well done: Venkatesh Iyer
Iyer termed his maiden series “memorable”, especially as India swept the visitors 3-0 to get back to winning ways in style after a dismal T20 World Cup, which saw them eliminated in the group stage.
“It was a memorable series for me. Wearing an India jersey was a dream and it came true. Winning the trophy in my debut series and that too by a clean sweep was a massive thing for me. I am really happy,” Iyer said.
He went on to reveal what skipper Rohit Sharma said to him after India’s triumph, as he handed the winning trophy to the young Iyer. “During the victory and trophy celebration, Rohit bhai came and gave the trophy to me and said well done,” he said.
“Holding the winning trophy was an emotional and proud moment for me. I got a lot of support from my seniors, my captain Rohit bhai and coach Rahul sir. It was a special feeling for me when my captain Rohit bhai gave me the trophy and gave a lot of credit to me. He said you have done a good job, keep it up.”