The Men in Blue defeated New Zealand by 73 runs on Sunday, November 21, at the Eden Gardens. Team India T20 captain Rohit Sharma, lavished accolades on Venkatesh Iyer after the match. Earlier this year, Iyer made headlines for his outstanding performance with Kolkata Knight Riders in the second leg of the 2021 Indian Premier League, after which the selectors granted him the opportunity to demonstrate his abilities in national colours. Betting in India was in favour of the home side for sure.
The 26-year-old scored 36 runs at an average of 18 in three Twenty20 Internationals against the New Zealand Black Caps. He was quite solid with the cricket bat and the fans loved the way that he played. After being dropped to No.6 for the third match, Iyer batted at No.6 and hit a 15-ball 20 before being dismissed by Trent Boult.
India’s full-time Twenty20I captain, Rohit, who took over from Virat Kohli after the Twenty20 World Cup in 2021, has said that the team management wants to develop Iyer as a lower middle-order batsman moving ahead.
Rohit Sharma believes that he has the necessary abilities to make it as a top player in the years to come
“The aim is to keep him involved as much as possible throughout the process. At the same time, we must provide him a certain position in which to bat. He is not used to batting in this position; for his franchise, he bats higher in the order. Because it will be difficult for him to bat higher in the order, we have assigned him a job to bat near the bottom of the order, presumably at 5, 6, and 7. You can see he is capable of doing the job for us,” Rohit remarked after the game.
In addition, the Madhya Pradesh-born Iyer bowled three overs in the Kolkata Twenty20 International, picking up the wicket of Adam Milne. Aside from being frugal, he was also effective, giving just 12 runs off three overs. In addition, Rohit praised him for his bowling performance.
“He seemed to be in good spirits today, considering how long he had been in there. The clarity of his thinking and a decent attitude to everything he sought to undertake characterised him. You saw his bowling prowess. He seems to be a really promising possibility for us. Clearly, he has the necessary abilities. In terms of his bowling abilities, he is also capable of doing the task for us,” he said.
Following their victory in the T20I in Kolkata, India went on to win the series 3-0. It is safe to say that Rohit Sharma’s players have successfully staged a comeback after their poor performance in the T20 World Cup.
What next for Team India, as both teams face off in the Test series?
The upcoming Test series will be a challenge in itself for the Indian side. They will be against their fierce rivals, one can say. That is due to the fact that it was the Kiwis that beat them in the final of the World Test Championship. This will be India’s turn to avenge that loss and they will be focused at the task in hand.
It will not be easy as the visitors have a strong squad as well. They will be looking to make a name for themselves and performing at the top of their game. However, this Indian side will be fired up too after the 3-0 whitewash in the T20 format already.
Keeping that in mind, it will be interesting to see which team now comes out on top in the longest format of the game. Virat Kohli will be rested for now, with Ajinkya Rahane taking charge and leading the team. Even recently named T20 skipper Rohit Sharma will not be seen with the Indian side.
He will be relaxing a bit too after the hectic schedule of cricket in this year or so. The bio-bubbles have been tiring for a lot of these players, who will be glad to take this break and have a bit of a breather. With that being said, the ambition of winning this series should not be lost after an impressive performance in the T20 format.