India batter Suryakumar Yadav has revealed that debutant Venkatesh Iyer has been working on his bowling in the latest net sessions. The Rahul Dravid era began in style as the Men in Blue beat New Zealand by five wickets in the first T20I on Wednesday.
With Hardik Pandya fighting injuries, India have been longing for a seam-bowling all-rounder since the end of 2019. Iyer was asked to fill that role on the back of strong performances in IPL 2021, but the 26-year-old wasn’t required to roll his arm over in Jaipur.
Suryakumar Yadav mentioned that the Madhya Pradesh lad has been bowling in the nets under the guidance of new bowling coach Paras Mhambrey and was also spotted conversing with skipper Rohit Sharma.
“He has been working hard here in the net sessions, I’ve been watching the last two net sessions. Before batting, he was bowling a lot with Paras sir and also having a lot of discussion with Rohit. So you will surely him in action. Today I didn’t think there was any need for him to bowl because Rohit used all his bowlers really well. You will surely see him bowl in the coming games,” Suryakumar said in response to a Sportskeeda query at the post-match press conference.
Chasing 165, Surya laid the perfect platform with a 40-ball 62 before Rishabh Pant (17* off 17) held his nerve to seal the win with two balls to spare.
“When you come to the Indian team, you have to be ready to bat any position” – Suryakumar Yadav
Along with an overhaul of the management, India fielded a new-look middle order which had players looking to cement their spots. Regular openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul playing meant the two Iyers – Venkatesh and Shreyas – had to bat lower than their usual spots.
Suryakumar Yadav cleared the air around batting out of position, saying players have to adjust to new roles while playing for the national side, which is a mix of the best players from franchise and domestic cricket.
“Firstly, franchise cricket is completely different. When you come to Indian team, you got to be really flexible with your batting order, you have to be ready to bat at any position. Like for example, Venkatesh opens in franchise cricket, and here, he had a different role in which he did really well I feel. So you have to be ready, when you come to Indian team, you have to place yourself according to the team,” Suryakumar, the Player of the Match, elaborated.
Suryakumar added that batting became a little more difficult in the dying stages of the game.
“Talking about death batting, I feel the wicket became a little slow, the ball also becamse a little soft at the end. So it was difficult to hit big strokes, but they kept their calm and are really happy to be on the winning side,” he concluded.
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India and New Zealand will travel to Ranchi tomorrow to play the second T20I on November 19 (Friday). The final rubber is scheduled to be played at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.