India vs New Zealand 2021: “It is a bit mysterious as to why Venkatesh Iyer isn’t bowling”

Indian batter Robin Uthappa has stated he is a bit surprised that Rohit Sharma hasn’t tried out Venkatesh Iyer as a bowling option in the first two T20Is against New Zealand. However, he added that it is too early to form an opinion of Rohit’s captaincy as he has just begun his journey as a full-time leader in international cricket.

Venkatesh Iyer was brought in as a replacement for all-rounder Hardik Pandya, whose fitness woes hurt Team India’s T20 World Cup 2021 campaign. But the 26-year-old hasn’t bowled in the T20I series against New Zealand.

Uthappa analyzed the decision following India’s seven-wicket triumph over the Kiwis in the second T20I in Ranchi. He told ESPNCricinfo that Rohit is perhaps thinking on the lines that he doesn’t need a sixth bowling option as of now. 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:

“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 was dismissed for 4 on his T20I debut. Promoted to No. 3 in Friday’s game, he returned unbeaten on 12 from 11 balls.

Rohit and Dravid don’t want to bowl Venkatesh Iyer just for the sake of it: Daniel Vettori

Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori backed Uthappa over Rohit’s decision to not give the ball to Venkatesh Iyer. According to him, Rohit and head coach Rahul Dravid perhaps don’t want to experiment just for the sake of it. 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.”

Reviewing India’s performance, he added that Ravichandran Ashwin’s success on his comeback to the T20 squad has made life tougher for Yuzvendra Chahal. Vettori said:

“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.”

Chasing 154, India cantered to victory in 17.2 overs, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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