After getting his maiden India call-up for the T20I series against New Zealand, Venkatesh Iyer recalled his first interaction with former RCB captain Virat Kohli during the IPL 2021. Iyer’s stellar performance for the KKR in the IPL earned him a call-up in the national team for the home series.
Iyer earned his Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) cap during the second phase of the IPL 2021 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He made his debut against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). In that game, RCB was bowled out for a paltry total of 92 runs. Iyer scored an explosive 41 not out to win the game for his side in just 10 overs, becoming a formidable opening batsmen for the two-time champions as he aggregated 370 runs in 10 games at an astonishing average of 41.11 and a strike-rate of 128.47.
After getting the India call-up, the 26-year-old said that he will forever remember the tips he got from former Virat Kohli during the 14th edition of IPL.
“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 with Times of India.
The Madhya Pradesh all-rounder plied his trade in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy after the completion of the IPL 2021. The southpaw also helped Team India in the UAE during their trainings ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021 before travelling back for the domestic T20 competition. He registered scores of 37, 50*, 31, 36* and 1 against Assam, Railways, Gujarat, Bihar and Kerala respectively.
Notably, Virat Kohli has resigned from the leadership position in the shortest format and Rohit Sharma will take over the reins from the first T20I against the Kiwis on 17th November.
India squad for New Zealand T20Is: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (Vice-Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohd. Siraj