Kiwi Daniel Vettori and Aussie Ben Cutting have backed all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer’s inclusion in the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) playing XI in the match against Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Monday despite his poor form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.
Venkatesh Iyer, who was one of the key architects behind Kolkata Knight Riders’ astonishing turnaround in the Indian Premier League 2021, has struggled to score runs and pick wickets in the Indian Premier League 2022. So far he has gone wicketless and has scored only 132 runs in nine matches at an average of 16.50.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, former New Zealand cricketer Daniel Vettori said that Kolkata Knight Riders should retain Venkatesh in the playing XI. He asserted:
“No, I think they have to persevere with him. He is part of their three-year plan and a retained player. Just expect him at his best and help him get to that position.”
Ben Cutting also said that the Kolkata Knight Riders should stick with Venkatesh and use him as a genuine all-rounder. He said:
“I think I will still keep him in the side as he creates great balance. They should try and get a few more overs out of him. I don’t mind if they want to try and slide him down the order now and use him as a genuine all-rounder because that’s what he is. When you play someone as a genuine all-rounder, they get an opportunity to bat and bowl. They can impact the game twice rather than once like he’s trying to do with the bat.”
I’d like to see Pat Cummins and Southee’s combination – Daniel Vettori
Vettori further said that he would like to see Pat Cummins getting back into the Kolkata Knight Riders playing XI as he alongside Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell will form an exceptional bowling attack. He asserted:
“I’d like to see him and Southee’s combination. Two of the best international white-ball bowlers, coupled with Umesh Yadav, who is bowling so well and Narine, Andre Russell as well – I think that’s the starting point of an exceptional bowling attack.”
Cutting also said that Cummins should walk into any playing XI if he is fit and available. He said:
“Without a doubt, he should. I don’t know why he is left out, whether he’s got a niggle or been unwell. So, I’m not sure what the issue is, but he should be in every eleven he is available for.”
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