The flamboyant Indian all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer has credited his recent success to the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as they gave him the right direction. He hogged a lot of limelight when he smashed 370 runs in the 10 matches of the second half of IPL 2021 and scored at a strike rate of 128.47. He played a crucial role in KKR’s emphatic comeback in the UAE leg of IPL after his team’s slow start in initial matches. KKR finished as runners-up of last season and Iyer went on to make his T20I debut for India.
Talking about his sudden rise during a chat show Backstage with Boria, Venkatesh Iyer said, “Huge thanks to KKR. Had it not been for KKR, I wouldn’t have been anywhere. I had a decent Mushtaq Ali last year – a few good scores and one particular innings where I finished the game for my side. With these knocks coming in, KKR scouted me and they picked me in the auction. I was unsold twice and then picked by KKR in the final round.”
Venkatesh Iyer thanked KKR for believing in him and also showered praises on the two-time champions for creating a culture where they didn’t ignore any player.
Elaborating the same, Venkatesh Iyer said, “Once I was in KKR, there was a point where I felt like I was somewhere, I am doing something correct in my life. But, thanks to KKR for believing in me and making me understand that even though I am not playing, I am there in the mix. They did not ignore me altogether or any player for that matter. They always kept pushing me that I’ll play, and when I play, I am going to do well.”
Venkatesh Iyer played a crucial role in KKR’s massive turnaround in the second half of the season where the franchise decided to give him a chance in playing XI as an opener. He along with Shubman Gill at the top and played some valuable knocks for the team as KKR reached their third IPL final.
Recalling the same, Venkatesh Iyer said, “That spirit that KKR showed brought out the best in me. It would be very wrong if I say that it was me who did that. It was the team that made me do it, which is something I would like to cherish.We were not where we wanted to be at the end of the first leg in India. But then came UAE and what happened was a story that can be told even 20-30 years later. It was a really special journey.”
Ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction, KKR decided to retain Venkatesh Iyer for a massive INR 8 crore ahead of some senior players. The franchise also retained Andre Russell, Varun Chakravarthy, and Sunil Narine alongside Iyer as they will look to regroup some players in the mega auction.