Former India opener Gautam Gambhir had made a bold claim about Venkatesh Iyer’s future in the ODI team. Venkatesh made his ODI debut against South Africa in the recently concluded series. The Madhya Pradesh player failed to capitalize on the opportunity. In the two ODIs, he scored just 24 runs, while he remained wicketless with the ball when he got a chance to bowl in the second ODI. While he was dropped for the last ODI in Cape Town.
Iyer is touted as a long term alternative for Hardik Pandya for his all-round abilities but so far India have failed to utilize him well in both departments. He played as an opener in his IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders while in the Indian team he is used as a finisher in the lower-middle order.
Gambhir feels that Iyer doesn’t have the maturity level to play in ODIs yet and should only be considered for selection in T20Is.
“I feel he should only be considered for T20 cricket. Because he doesn’t have that level of maturity yet. He has been given an opportunity to play international level after watching him in only 7-8 IPL matches. If you are going by IPL performances, then play him in T20 cricket. ODI is a completely different ball game and a completely different beast,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.
The southpaw came into the limelight after his solid batting performance in the second half of IPL 2021 where he scored 370 runs in 10 matches and played a crucial role in KKR’s journey to the final of the tournament.
Gambhir said that if the India team is considered him for ODIs then it should convey it to his IPL franchise and ask them to play in the middle-order.
“Iyer had opened in IPL, now he is playing in the middle order. Send him back. If you are considering him for ODI cricket then tell his IPL franchise to play him in the middle order. But I feel he should be kept for T20s only, that too only as an opener, if he plays at that position in IPL.”