Venkatesh Iyer-Hardik Pandya

Venkatesh Iyer has been included in the Indian T20I squad that has been announced for the upcoming series against West Indies. India will play a three-match ODI series followed by a three-match T20I series between February 6-20. The ODIs will be played in Ahmedabad while the T20Is in Kolkata.

As per a report in Times of India, the selectors are not yet convinced about Hardik Pandya’s fitness which is why they decided to keep Venkatesh Iyer in the squad. They had a conversation with Hardik before announcing the squads and were not convinced as yet. The management asked him to work on his fitness and prove that he is good to bowl and bat for India.

Hardik Pandya Not Included For West Indies Series

Venkatesh Iyer To Be Groomed As A Long-Term Replacement For Hardik Pandya In Team India. Photo- Twitter
Venkatesh Iyer To Be Groomed As A Long-Term Replacement For Hardik Pandya In Team India. Photo- Twitter

Hardik last played in the ICC T20 World Cup last year and since then has been working on improving his fitness at the NCA. His absence from the squad is what keeps the management sticking to Venkatesh Iyer for the West Indies series. He made his ODI debut against South Africa in the recently concluded series. However, for the West Indies series, he has been once included in the T20I squad.

Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir went to the extent of saying that Iyer should not be considered for selection in ODIs for India. He opined that Iyer lacks the maturity a player needs for ODI cricket and should hence be considered only for T20I cricket, provided he opens in that format.

Venkatesh Iyer Should Be Considered Only For T20Is: Gautam Gambhir

Venkatesh Iyer
Image Source: Twitter

“I feel he should only be considered for T20 cricket. Because he doesn’t have that level of maturity yet. He has been given an opportunity to play international level after watching him in only 7-8 IPL matches. If you are going by IPL performances, then play him in T20 cricket. ODI is a completely different ball game and a completely different beast,” Gambhir said.

Deepak Hooda is another all-round option the BCCI added to the ODI squad. In the T20I squad, apart from Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar are seen as all-round options as well.

Also Read: Bhuvneshwar Kumar Dropped As BCCI Announces India’s Squad For Home ODI Series vs West Indies

Anshuman Roy

A Hardcore Cricket Enthusiast Having Previously Worked With Cricwizz, Circle of Cricket, Times Now, The Quint, Cricfit and Now With Cricket Addictor.