IPL 2021: “Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer have been cornerstone of our batting,” says Eoin Morgan

Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer | BCCI/IPL

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Eoin Morgan despite losing the final to Chennai Super Kings, praised young openers of his team, Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer, saying that the duo has been the cornerstone of their batting line-up.

Before the first-leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 was postponed, Kolkata Knight Riders had won only 2 matches from the 7 league games in India and everyone was of the opinion that the Eoin Morgan-led side will not qualify for the playoffs.

Coming into the UAE leg of the tournament, they needed to win 5 games from their remaining 7 matches. They came out with all guns blazing and bamboozled everyone with their fearless style of play and finished the league stage with 14 points and were fourth on the points table.

They then defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals in the Eliminator and Qualifier 2 respectively to book their place in the final but failed to lift the title as MS Dhoni-led side thumped them by 27 runs to win their fourth IPL tile.

One of the main reasons for Kolkata Knight Riders entering the final was the duo of Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer, who stole the limelight and provided sensational starts to their team in almost every match in the second leg of the tournament.

While Gill ended the season as the highest run-scorer for his team with 478 runs, Iyer grabbed the attention of everyone and in just 10 matches scored 370 runs.

Skipper Eoin Morgan lauded the fight and character shown by his teammates and also praised his team’s openers saying that they had been the cornerstone of their batting line-up.

“We are extremely proud of the fight we have shown. The character and fight are a trademark. Our owners – Shahrukh, Venky have been absolutely outstanding. The guys fought incredibly hard and performed. Iyer and Gill have been outstanding. Ventakesh is new to this platform. They have been the cornerstone of our batting. Tripathi left everything out there today. Unfortunately, he picked up an injury,” Eoin Morgan told Star Sports.