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Cricket

Updated on: Friday, December 24, 2021, 08:14 PM IST

Happy birthday, Venkatesh Iyer: Top IPL knocks by India's latest all-rounder

Venkatesh Iyer (l) in action for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021. | Photo: BCCI/Sportzpics for IPL

Venkatesh Iyer (l) in action for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021. | Photo: BCCI/Sportzpics for IPL

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All-rounder Venkatesh Iyer began his 26th year as an uncapped cricketer, yet to play the IPL. But as he turns 27, he has not just played in the cash-rich T20 league, but also made the right noises to earn a national call-up. He went from being a Madhya Pradesh and KKR cricketer to an India cricketer, making his T20I debut against New Zealand after the Men’s T20 World Cup.

On his birthday, his first as an India cricketer, Free Press Journal looks at some of his top IPL knocks. He made his bow in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 after Brendon McCullum, KKR head coach, spoke about having to change something at the top after an unimpressive first half for the team.

41* vs RCB: Iyer literally took IPL and Royal Challengers Bangalore by storm. On his IPL debut, the Virat Kohli-led side were skittled for a mere 92. Iyer then helped KKR romp home to a nine-wicket win, finishing unbeaten on 41 off just 27 balls. He added 82 for the first wicket with Shubman Gill in just 9.1 overs.

53 vs MI: We didn’t have to wait long to witness Iyer hit his maiden IPL half century. In just his second game, Mumbai Indians were kept to 155/6 by KKR. Iyer yet again set out with the chase in an attacking manner. He hit 53 in just 30 balls with four fours and three sixes against the likes of Trent Boult, Adam Milne and Jasprit Bumrah. He first added 40 inside three overs with Gill before adding another 88 in just over eight overs with Rahul Tripathi.

55 vs DC: KKR were set 136 to win by Delhi Capitals in the Qualifier 2. Iyer set out smashing, coming out all guns blazing in his 41-ball knock. He added 96 with Gill in just under 13 overs for the opening wicket. By the time he was dismissed for 55, KKR were on the doorstep of a win.

50 vs CSK: At the biggest stage, against one of the biggest sides led by a mastermind, Iyer left his imprint. KKR had to score 193 in order to win the IPL trophy. Iyer set about meting out the meanest of treatments to Deepak Chahar and Josh Hazlewood with the fielding restrictions on. He smashed his way to 50 off just 31 balls before Shardul Thakur dismissed him. KKR were 91 for one in just over 10 overs when he got out but went on to lose the contest by 27 runs.

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Published on: Friday, December 24, 2021, 08:14 PM IST
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