Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer has been the talk of the town since his heroics in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League. The player from Madhya Pradesh made his case strong for national selection post the sensational show at the marquee event, which in included a Man of the Match performance in Qualifier 2. BCCI too couldn't keep its eyes off the player, and kept him with the Indian team in UAE as a net bowler for T20 World Cup 2021.
Though India's campaign saw an early end, Iyer not only got the exposure but also saw his name on the list of selected players for the following bilateral T20I series of India against New Zealand. Ahead of being a part of his maiden international series, the all-rounder recalled how Virat Kohli guided him in the UAE when India were playing at the world event.
He asked me to keep focusing on my game: Venkatesh Iyer
Iyer revealed that he used to have interactions with the senior players of the team. He added that Kohli not only praised his performance but also shared some tips with him.
"During the nets sessions, I had interactions with most of the senior players. Virat bhai said just be focused on what you are doing. He also said you are doing good and keep performing and keep working hard. He asked me to keep focusing on my game. I will remember those tips from Virat bhai forever," Iyer said in an interview to Times of India.
Iyer's performance in IPL 2021
The all-rounder was in sensational form in the recently-concluded IPL as he amassed 370 runs across 10 matches at a strike rate of 128.47. His highest score, meanwhile, was 67. Iyer also proved his potential with the ball by picking up 3 wickets in the season at an economy of 8.11.
Talking about his overall stats in the shortest format, Iyer has scored 1249 runs in the 53 T20s he has played so far. While he has averaged over 39 in these games, his strike rate is over 135. With the ball, he has 29 wickets to his name out of 52 games. Notably, Hardik Pandya has not been picked for the New Zealand series, and this gives Venkatesh a clear opportunity to prove his mettle at the highest level.