Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer
Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer [PC: X/Twitter]

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer spoke about his chances to open the innings for the team in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. He expressed his confidence in taking the spot at the top order for the team. 

Venkatesh Iyer kickstarted his IPL career as an opening batter. He came into the XI midway in IPL 2021 and set the stage on fire while batting at the top. The all-rounder had decent outings for the team and his skills made the franchise retain him ahead of the batting sensational Shubman Gill. 

After batting as an opener for the two seasons, Venkatesh Iyer in the last season was asked to bat in the middle order. The absence of Shreyas Iyer made the franchise to take the decision and he had to bat out of his position in the league. However, it didn’t bother him much as he oozed his class even while batting in the middle. 

In the last edition, Venkatesh Iyer played all 14 games and amassed 404 runs at a strike rate of over 145 and also slammed two half-centuries. His best came in the game against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium, where he slammed a magnificent ton and ended with innings of 101 runs. 

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With Shreyas Iyer all set to be back for the IPL 2024, Venkatesh Iyer might be again asked to open the innings. The all-rounder, however, feels the same and while speaking to Sportstar, he explained: 

“With Shreyas [Iyer] coming back into the team, I might have to slot up… I think I would be opening this year.” 

Iyer was moved down to the middle order so that the team could have a solid Indian player to tackle the spin. The presence of Shreyas will fill the void and it will be a great opportunity for Venkatesh to stake his claim back at the top. He would be eager to have his best IPL season and make a statement. 

Thinking about the World Cup would be stupid – Venkatesh Iyer 

The upcoming IPL will be a great opportunity for Venkatesh Iyer to make his case strong for the T20 World Cup 2024. The ICC event is slated to take place just after the IPL. With doubts lunging over the availability of Hardik Pandya, the KKR all-rounder would surely be under the radar. 

Venkatesh Iyer however, doesn’t want to make the same mistake that he did ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup. He admitted that months before the tournament, he started thinking about it and he believes that thinking upcoming World Cup would be stupid. 

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Venkatesh Iyer said that his sole focus is on the Ranji Trophy and if he thinks about the T20 World Cup now, it would be injustice for his team. He, however, is hopeful of playing in the World Cup. He explained: 

“A mistake that I made was when I started looking at the World Cup [in 2022]. When I was picked for the Indian team, I started looking at Melbourne, and Sydney and playing the World Cup there. Then I realised it’s not a sprint but a marathon… Thinking about the World Cup would be stupid. 

The most important thing is to play in the Ranji Trophy and take MP to the final and win the title with them. If I were thinking about the T20 World Cup now, that would be an injustice to the MP team. If it happens, well and good, otherwise life will go on.” 

Venkatesh Iyer has played 36 games in the IPL so far and has scored 956 runs. He also has 7 half-centuries and one century to his name. Apart from this, he has also picked 3 wickets.

Ankitjit is an author at Cricketaddictor. He has been working with the organization since April 2023 and he has written more than 2000 articles for the website.