Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have fought back in the second phase of IPL 2021 after winning only 2 out of the first 7 matches in the India-leg of the tournament. Opener Venkatesh Iyer has been one of the major reasons for their 3 wins in the last 5 matches.
Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes Iyer is going to be a major attraction in the next mega-auction. The 26-year-old, who made his debut in the IPL 2021 second-phase, has scored 193 runs in five matches with an average of 48.25 and a strike rate of 141.91.
Manjrekar found out Iyer has been doing well in the List A cricket as well. “I’m thinking 12-14 crores because this is not a kind of a fluke show. I was looking at his First-Class numbers and his List A record is outstanding. His average is 47, strikes at 92. That is his T20 record in domestic cricket, not counting the IPL. His strike rate is high, he averages 37.
“So this is a guy who knows how to bat. Plus, he is a bowler, and in the last match, he has shown that he can bowl the tough overs too. So he is somebody who is going to fetch a very high price,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
Manjrekar is backing Iyer to be a long-term player instead of just a one-season wonder. The renowned commentator liked his batting technique and he said, “Today, I focussed on the way he bats. Very interestingly, he bats a lot on the backfoot. Looks to pull, play the cut. So this is a batter who is not going down the wicket and trying to hit forcing everything.”
“He is staying on backfoot, cutting and pulling and then he’s got a big stride forward. I see him more as a real qualified T20 game-changer than somebody having a couple of good weeks,” he added.