'Boys were motivated to go out there and put up a show' - Venkatesh Iyer opens up on morale of dressing room prior to Qualifier 1

KKR outclassed SRH in a resounding win to clinch their berth in the IPL 2024 final.

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Venkatesh Iyer
Venkatesh Iyer. (Source -IPL/BCCI)

In a tournament as busy as the Indian Premier League, where many teams have frequently played two games in three days, it's exceedingly uncommon for a franchise to have an 11-day hiatus. However, this was precisely what the Kolkata Knight Riders had to endure, not due to favorable scheduling, but because their matches against the Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals on May 13th and 19th were completely washed out due to inclement weather. 

Having played their last game on May 11, it never seemed that KKR put their foot off the pedal, as they romped to a plunderous eight-wicket victory against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 1 of IPL 2024. Having notched up his third half-century of this edition, swashbuckling southpaw, Venkatesh Iyer, in an interview with the host broadcaster, said that the team was "desperate to go out there" and demonstrate their expertise. 

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Venkatesh, who was initially apprehensive about the long interval between games affecting KKR's momentum, stated that their status as table-toppers gave them the confidence to go out and perform their best. He credited the coaching staff, backend management, and co-owners - Shah Rukh Khan and Jay Mehta - for their support. Their presence at the venue and motivational morale-boosting talk uplifted the team's optimism to deliver their best performance.

"The best thing was we were table-toppers, and being table-toppers gives you a lot of confidence heading into the playoffs. Credit to the coaching staff, the entire management, and the owners. [Co-owners] SRK [Shah Rukh Khan] sir and Jay [Mehta] sir also came today. They gave us a little pep talk. So, the spirits were really, really high and the boys were motivated to go out there and put up a show," remarked Venkatesh.

It's the opportunity to play the IPL final, it's a dreamy moment for us: Venkatesh

Discussing the dream-come-true experience for players like him, who have had difficulty breaking into the Indian team and rarely get considered even as backups, he noted that playing in an IPL final was a remarkable achievement. Winning before a huge Ahmedabad crowd and then playing the final at the fervent Chepauk made it all the more memorable, according to Venkatesh.

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"It's always special. For players like us, it's the opportunity to play the IPL final, it's a dreamy moment for us. That too, coming here first in front of such an amazing crowd [in Ahmedabad] and now going to the Chepauk stadium," added Venkatesh.

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