WI legend says ‘versatile Venkatesh’ is an ideal replacement for Hardik for the WC-T20 squad


Modified Feb 21, 2022 3:07 PM IST

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Hardik Pandya used to provide balance in the Indian team’s line-up before lengthy injury concerns forced him to sit out. Venkatesh Iyer was brought into the team to do just that. After losing his spot in the ODI squad after only two chances, Iyer bounced back strongly both with the bat and with the ball in the T20I series against West Indies. Ian Bishop reviewed Iyer’s performance and offered his thoughts on Hardik’s chances of being named in the T20 World Cup squad for the 2022 competition. 

Iyer scored 92 runs and hit a boundary every 3.6 balls in three matches in the series that ended on Sunday with India’s 3-0 whitewash win. During the match, he was India’s second most prolific run-getter after Suryakumar Yadav, and he played an important role in all three match-winning partnerships. Aside from bowling 3.1 overs in the series, he also picked up two wickets at 13.50 in two innings. Venkatesh Bishop replied, “So far, so good,” on the Star Sports television broadcast when asked if he had passed the audition for the T20 World Cup squad to fill Hardik Pandya’s crucial position.

Iyer, who opened for his team Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League before being picked for the Indian team where he batted at No.6, surprised him with his versatility despite the Windies bowling line-up posing less of a threat to the Indian batting line-up. Hardik continues to be rested ahead of the upcoming three-match series against Sri Lanka, which begins on February 24. Iyer will captain India for the three-match series.