India vs New Zealand 2021: “I have come with a blank mind”

Team India’s new entrant Venkatesh Iyer has stated that he is starting his journey in international cricket with a “blank mind” and is keen to learn as much as he can from new head coach Rahul Dravid.

Venkatesh Iyer earned his maiden call-up to the Indian team on the back of a stellar IPL 2021 season. The 26-year-old played a major role in turning around Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) fortunes, hammering 370 runs in 10 matches at a strike rate of 128.47 with four fifties.

In an interview with, the left-hander opened up on his thought process ahead of the three-match T20I series against New Zealand, which begins on Wednesday. He said:

“I just want to learn whatever I can. Rahul (Dravid) Sir, being the legend that he is, he has lots to share. It’s just about how we will go and pick things depending on what’s asked of us or what the situation is. I have come with a blank mind and whatever happens, I will take it in that manner.”

Owing to his ability to bowl medium pace, Venkatesh Iyer is being viewed as a possible replacement for Hardik Pandya, who has been dropped after he couldn’t bowl a lot during the T20 World Cup.

“It is very special” – Venkatesh Iyer on interaction with skipper Rohit Sharma

Venkatesh Iyer with Rohit Sharma. Pic: BCCI
Venkatesh Iyer with Rohit Sharma. Pic: BCCI

Venkatesh Iyer revealed that apart from Dravid, he has also had interactions with captain Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant.

He described the feeling of getting tips from one of the best batters, Rohit, as something special. The all-rounder elaborated:

“I spoke with the captain and coach and I had a word with Rishabh as well. They were very welcoming and gave me a lot of confidence and gave a little pep talk on how to go about things. It feels good when established players who are doing good for the country (talk to you). Especially Rohit Sharma, being one of the best batters in the world, if he shares something with me, it is very special. It feels good talking to them.”

🎥 Head Coach Rahul Dravid rekindles his first meeting with a young @ImRo45 & lauds the #TeamIndia T20I captain for his contribution towards the Indian cricket. 👏 ☺️#INDvNZ

In 53 T20 games, Venkatesh Iyer has scored 1249 runs at a strike rate of 135.17 with seven half-centuries. He has also claimed 29 wickets with his medium pace at an economy rate of under seven.

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