According to Gambhir, if this youngster is in contention for the ODI team, Indian management should consider playing him in the middle order during the IPL


Modified Jan 25, 2022 5:44 PM IST

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During a recent interview, former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir expressed his opinion that young Venkatesh Iyer shouldn’t even be considered for selection in ODIs any longer and should be considered for a T20I spot only. 

The role of Iyer in the Indian ODI squad has been discussed for some time. Iyer was chosen for the home ODI series against New Zealand and for the South Africa tour after Hardik Pandya missed the T20 World Cup 2021 last October in the UAE due to an injury. Venkatesh was touted to fill the void left by all-rounder Hardik, who batted at No.3 and 6 in the T20I contest, scoring 36 runs off 28 balls, but he finished with a bowling average of 1/12 in three overs. Aside from playing two ODI matches, scoring 24 runs in 40 deliveries, he also bowled in just one, with a strike rate of 0/28 after five overs in the second match. The fact that he was left out of the final match has left many wondering how he would have contributed to India’s preparations for the ODI World Cup in 2023.

Moreover, Iyer said the Indian management should ask his IPL franchise to play him in the middle order if they consider him for the ODIs. “He opened in the IPL, now he plays in the middle order, send him back,” he stated. If you are considering him for ODIs, tell his IPL franchise to play him in the middle order,” he added. Nevertheless, I feel he should be limited to T20s only, and that too as an opener if he plays at this position in IPL.”

On February 6, India will host a limited-overs series against West Indies, which will be made up of three ODIs and as many T20Is.