Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has opined that the Madhya Pradesh all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer is ahead of everyone in the race for a spot in the Indian ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 squad.
Venkatesh Iyer got his maiden India call-up soon after his sensational performance in the second half of the Indian Premier League 2021 for Kolkata Knight Riders.
With fast-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya being unavailable due to fitness issues, Iyer has been given a place in the Indian T20I team on a consistent basis.
Also, the 27-year-old has delivered a consistent performance for the team. In the recently concluded three-match T20I series against West Indies National Cricket Team, where India won by 3-0, Iyer smashed 24*, 33, and 35* runs in three T20Is. Also, he bagged 2 wickets in the third and final T20 International.
Right Now, Venkatesh Iyer Is Ahead Of Hardik Pandya – Irfan Pathan
Former Indian all-rounder Irfan said that Iyer has been batting at an excellent strike rate and his height is a key as it gives him extra bounce while bowling, which will be useful in Australian pitches during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.
“Right now, Venkatesh Iyer is ahead of everyone in the race. He’s batting at a strike rate of 180 at number six. Secondly, you need to consider the bounce he gets. He doesn’t have the speed but he has the height, so he will get the bounce on the quick pitches in Australia,” Pathan said on the pre-match show on Star Sports.
Irfan Pathan further added that Iyer is ahead of Hardik Pandya in the race for a spot in the World Cup squad. He also mentioned that the BCCI selectors have said that the selection of Hardik Pandya as a pure batter will be difficult.
“So, Venkatesh Iyer is currently ahead. If you have two options, nothing can get better. But right now, Iyer is ahead of Hardik Pandya. Even the selectors have clearly stated that if Pandya doesn’t bowl, his selection as a pure batter is difficult. We will have to see how he performs in the Indian Premier League,” said the former India bowler.
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