With BCCI announcing the Team India squad for its upcoming home T20I series against New Zealand, there were plenty of surprises in the roster. There was no Virat Kohli in the squad with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player rested for the series. Rohit Sharma was named captain with KL Rahul as vice-captain. Kohli stepped down from India’s T20I captaincy after their exit from the T20 World Cup. The selectors also gave maiden call-ups to Venkatesh Iyer, Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel. The trio were in excellent form during Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season and will be aiming to cement their places in the Indian T20 playing XI. Meanwhile, Iyer’s selection sent Twitter into a state of meltdown, considering many fans had called for him to feature in the T20 World Cup, after his stellar performance in the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
The 26-year-old played in 10 matches during IPL 2021, smashing 370 runs. He also registered three wickets.
One fan took to Twitter and posted an interesting question, asking if the all-rounder would be used in the middle order instead as an opener. “The previous captain made it clear several times that he sees Ishan Kishan as a T20 opening option. How the new captain and coach sees him is a question worth curiosity. Also, if Venky gets a chance, where will he get it? (Lower) middle order? I can count 5 openers in this list”, the user wrote.
The previous captain made it clear several times that he sees Ishan Kishan as a T20 opening option. How the new captain and coach sees him is a question worth curiosity.
Also, if Venky gets a chance, where will he get it? (Lower) middle order?
I can count 5 openers in this list https://t.co/ZXc74QJdKb
— Chetan (@Chetan__Anand) November 9, 2021
Iyer was an opener for KKR in UAE, helping them reach the finals and finishing as runners-up.
Meanwhile, another Twitter user stated that Iyer could be groomed as a finisher by the team management. The fan wrote, “these guys will now groom Venky Iyer as a finisher”.
these guys will now groom Venky Iyer as a finisher
— Prashant (@Kohliesque) November 9, 2021
One fan in particular questioned Iyer’s selection. The user reasoned, “We expecting too much by Venky Iyer. We considering him a hitter, but I don’t think he is, can never be finisher for me. In Sharjah and after powerplay he used to score run a ball, sometimes slower than that.”
Totally agree here .
We expecting too much by Venky Iyer. We considering him a hitter, but I don’t think he is, can never be finisher for me.
In shahrjah and after powerplay he used to score run a ball, sometimes slower than that. https://t.co/mu2xASQ0cG
— Swargiya Circuit Udas (@Being_circuit2) November 9, 2021
Here are the other reactions:
So happy for Siraj and Avesh Khan but the T20 team is filled with openers (Rohit, Rahul, Ishan, Ruturaj, Venkatesh Iyer), no proper finisher apart from Pant orelse they need to play Venktesh Iyer at 6.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) November 9, 2021
Honestly, venkatesh iyer can play as a finisher. Yes he was amazing as an opener but I personally feel he can play down the order as well.
— roonzzeyy (@roonzzeyy) November 9, 2021
Don’t know what will be Venkatesh Iyer’s role.!Will he open or he will finish the innings.!It’s high time for India to groom another finisher in the shorter format.!With T20 world cup less than one year Rohit & Rahul combo will need to look this things right from this series.!
— Deep Point (@ittzz_spidey) November 9, 2021
playing 11 vs NZ T20
1. Rohit Sharma(c)
2. Venkatesh Iyer(For Left-Right Combo)
3. K L Rahul(vc)
4. Ruturaj Gaikwad/Surya Yadav
5. R Pant(wk)
6. Shreyas Iyer
7. Axar Patel
8. Harshal/Deepak Chahar
9. R Ashwin
10. Mohd Siraj/Avesh khan
11. Y Chahal
— Pawan Kumar (@pawaniitdel) November 9, 2021
India’s three-match T20I series against New Zealand is scheduled to begin from November 17. Both teams will also face each other in a two-match Test series, starting from November 25.
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