‘He was a big catalyst for our turnaround this season’: McCullum names KKR youngster who has got an ‘enormous future’
The comeback story of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 was one of the major highlights of the season. They were languishing at the seventh spot after the India leg was suspended in May, due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the tournament’s bio-bubble. However, Eoin Morgan-led side made a fantastic return in the UAE phase, finishing as runner-up after losing to Chennai Super Kings by 27 runs in the final on Friday night in Dubai.
One of the architects of this massive turnaround was Venkatesh Iyer who not only excelled with the bat in hand but, also impressed with his bowling skills. KKR head coach and former opener Brendon McCullum heaped praise on the youngster.
Speaking at the post-match press conference on Friday, McCullum said Iyer, with his flamboyance, played the role of a catalyst in turning the fortunes of the side in the second leg of the just-concluded IPL.
“He (Iyer) will be challenged to change his methods at times too. He might not necessarily be the most consistent because of his flamboyancy. But I hope he remains the Venkatesh Iyer that we have seen so far,” McCullum said at the post-match press conference.
“He's got an enormous future in this game and he's a very intelligent man. He was a big catalyst for our turnaround this season.
“But look, Venkatesh Iyer has been quite an incredible story. Looking back, he was actually going to play the last game, the next game when we were in India. In a funny way, the break came at a good time there. It gave him an opportunity to just get another couple of months of cricket under his belt, to understand that his opportunities weren't too far away,” he added.
Himself a big advocate of aggressive brand of cricket, McCullum felt Iyer should not change his attacking game.
“For him, it was a matter of bringing the game which he owns – the Venkatesh Iyer game plan to the table, which is aggressive intent. He's a big presence, he's a tall man. He plays the game with a bit of a cavalier kind of streak. And that is so important that he holds on to it,” said the KKR head coach.
(With PTI Inputs)