What a find Kolkata Knight Riders' player Venkatesh Iyer has been for the team. Not only has he made vital contributions with the bat but has even proved his utility with the ball. Moreover, his inclusion at the top of the order seemed to have given the Knight Riders the impetus which they seemed to be lacking in the India leg of IPL 2021.
While Kolkata were in the bottom half of the table as they had a disappointing run in the tournament till the time it had to be suspended midway owing to COVID-19, they suddenly find themselves in with a chance to qualify for the Playoffs due to the wins against top teams in UAE. Iyer has been a key factor in those wins- having registered two half-centuries and a forty in his 5 innings already.
Reflection on Iyer's big-hitting ability, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes that the left-handed batter can fetch around INR 12-14 crores in the mega auction set to happen ahead of IPL 2022.
Iyer's List A record is outstanding: Manjrekar
"I am thinking Venkatesh Iyer will get 12 to 14 crores because this is not kind of fluke show. I was looking at his First-class numbers and his List A record is outstanding. His average is 47 strikes at 92, 93, and his T20 record domestic not IPL is also fantastic," Manjrekar said as per ESPNCricinfo.
"There again strike rate is pretty high the average is 37. This is a guy who knows how to bat. First-class batting average of 36 plus he is a bowler. And in the last match, he showed that he can bowl the tough overs too. So he is somebody that is going to fetch a high price,” he added.
KKR desperately need their captain to fire
Having said that, despite Iyer's 67 in the match against Punjab Kings at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday, Kolkata ended up losing the match by 5 wickets. They would desperately need their captain Eoin Morgan to fire as he has been terribly out of form and departed for a ninth single-digit score in the competition this year against Punjab.
If Morgan has to be dropped, Kolkata would have to find a new captain at this stage of the competition which could well backfire since the business end of the tournament isn't too far away.