Veteran Indian batsman Robin Uthappa has said that he is a bit surprised that newly-appointed T20 captain Rohit Sharma hasn’t tried out Venkatesh Iyer as a bowling option in the first two T20Is against New Zealand as well. However, he again shared that it is too early to take a call of Rohit’s captaincy as he has just started his journey as a full-time leader in international cricket as well.
Venkatesh Iyer came in after having a stupendous IPL 2021 in the second phase and can be an option for all-rounder Hardik Pandya, whose fitness woes hurt Team India’s T20 World Cup 2021 campaign. And, he has been dropped from the T20I series against New Zealand. However, Uthappa shared his views on that to ESPNCricinfo.
He elaborated: “It is a bit mysterious as to why Venkatesh Iyer isn’t bowling or isn’t being tried as the sixth bowler. Maybe Rohit feels he doesn’t need a sixth bowler and Venkatesh Iyer is playing purely as a batter.”
Uthappa further pointed out that Rohit’s mindset as captain is something that will get clearer the more he leads the Indian team. The 36-year-old explained:
He continued: “We are very early into this understanding of who Rohit is as a captain. As time passes, we will get a better understanding of what he wants to achieve and want kind of a captain he is. We need to give these guys (Rohit and Rahul Dravid) a little bit of time to understand what their mindset is and how they are looking at taking things forward.”
Venkatesh Iyer could only manage4 on his T20I debut. Promoted to No. 3 in the second game, he returned unbeaten on 12 from 11 balls as well. On the other hand, former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori echoed Uthappa’s words over Rohit’s decision to not give the ball to Venkatesh Iyer.
Vettori stated: “This is about Rohit’s captaincy rather than the playing XI and finding the style that he wants to play. Rahul and Rohit don’t want to bowl Venkatesh Iyer because it might just be at a crucial time and he might go for 20 runs. They don’t want to put themselves in a position just for the sake of seeing a bowler. What they (India) have found out is that Ashwin is going to be part of the T20 team going forward. With Ashwin bowling so well, it probably pushes Chahal to the background a little bit.”