Venkatesh Iyer was not named by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their ‘playing XI’ for the Indian Premier League (IPL) clash against Punjab Kings (PBKS) at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Saturday.
Nitish Rana won the toss, who is captaining KKR in place of injured Shreyas Iyer, and decided that he and his side will be bowling first.
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“We will bowl first, it has rained in the last two days so there would be some moisture. I am excited because very few people get this opportunity. It is a game of cricket after all so there is not much pressure. The impact player rule is in its initial stage. We have to see that the decisions we take prove to be right. Russell, Narine, Gurbaz and Southee are our overseas players," Rana said after winning the toss.
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When the team’s playing XI was known, fans immediately noticed that Venkatesh Iyer’s name was missing.
Some were also quick to point out that KKR had opted to retain Venkatesh Iyer in place of Shubman Gill barely two seasons back ahead of the IPL mega auction.
While most supporters were left scratching their heads over Venkatesh Iyer’s omission, some pointed out that KKR may bring him in in the second half innings to bat as an ‘impact player’.
Venkatesh Iyer has been kept in the subs interestingly— Rohan 🏏 | Dotvid Hatebot (@Rohantweetss) April 1, 2023
Mandeep Singh playing instead of Venkatesh Iyer 😯— Cricket🏏 Lover // ICT Fan Account (@CricCrazyV) April 1, 2023
Venkatesh Iyer to get subbed in for the run chase surely? Assuming Umesh bowls his quota and makes way early #IPL2023 #PBKSvKKR— Soorya Sesha (@sooryasesha7) April 1, 2023
KKR Playing XI 🔥 No Venkatesh Iyer (Maybe Impact Player While Batting) pic.twitter.com/kjc1esH0ZZ— Junaid Khan (@JunaidKhanation) April 1, 2023
Venkatesh Iyer retaining in 2022 to impact player list in 2023. pic.twitter.com/AcCmx8tgOv— KatigorahPremiarLeague (@KPL2021) April 1, 2023
And where is venkatesh Iyer?They retained him over shubman gill and now he isn’t in playing 11.— Viratian (@kingofcricket05) April 1, 2023
That’s literally how to use impact player. What’s so clever?Clever would be if they bowl a bowlers over early in the innings then bring in Venkatesh Iyer and use his bowling too .
— AMIT (@Amit_g777) April 1, 2023
PBKS captain Shikhar Dhawan had another issue at the toss when he foot who Punjab Kings’ players are.
PBKS vs KKR Playing XIs:
Punjab Kings - Shikhar Dhawan, Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jitesh Sharma, Shahrukh Khan, Sam Curran, Sikandar Raza, Nathan Ellis, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh
Kolkata Knight Riders - Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Mandeep Singh, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Shardul Thakur, Sunil Narine, Tim Southee, Anukul Roy, Umesh Yadav, Varun Chakaravarthy
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