'He always talks about winning. That's the type of character we need': Shreyas Iyer reserves praise for 27-year-old star
IPL 2022 will kick start from March 26 with Kolkata squaring off with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the tournament opener.
Having missed out on their third Indian Premier League (IPL) title last year, Kolkata Knight Riders will begin their quest for the trophy against defending champions Chennai Super Kings on March 26. The franchise had retained four players and did a remarkable job in the mega auctions to snap up some match-winners including new skipper Shreyas Iyer, who fetched a colossal ₹12.25 crore at the two-day event. (ALSO READ | Pat Cummins gives his verdict on KKR naming Shreyas Iyer as new captain for IPL 2022)
Kolkata also splurged ₹7.25 crore on Pat Cummins and got seasoned batter Ajinkya Rahane for ₹1 crore. While their middle order looks solid in Andre Russell's presence, Venkatesh Iyer looks like a sure shot opener in the impending season. Iyer, a management professional who turned up for the franchise in the second half of IPL 2021, would be raring to go as the league returns to Indian conditions after its UAE stint.
Venkatesh may have had a successful elevation to the opening slot, but captain Shreyas was tight-lipped on his batting spot this year. "We have not yet decided his batting position. We are yet to get out of quarantine and have chats with coaches and management. I had a brief chat with him during our stint for Team India, he's very flexible in terms whatever position we put him into play," said Shreyas in a virtual interaction on Saturday.
Venkatesh notched up two 30-plus scores against the West Indies in the home T20I series. He also rolled his arm over and picked up two wickets in the three-game rubber.
"Obviously he's done great as an opener last year for KKR, that will be at the back of the mind. He's a team man. I've seen that on the field. He always talks about winning. That's the type of character we need in our team, one who is ready to go out there and show that relentless," he further added.
Shreyas himself is ready to "explore" his batting position according to the situation. He's had a phenomenal stint with India in recent months, scoring three consecutive fifties in the T20I assignement against Sri Lanka and claiming the Player-of-the-Series in India's 3-0 win.
"For me personally, I feel No. 3 is my batting position because that's the position I love to bat and have been batting for very long. But I'm flexible whatever the team requires, I'm very comfortable with that. Come what may, I'm ready to explore."
Apart from Shreyas and Venkatesh, KKR also have Sunil Narine when it comes to adding a bit of spark to their batting attack. The power-hitting cricketer from West Indies remains to be a vital cog in KKR's scheme of things. They have also got Australia's Aaron Finch at the top with Sam Billings as Kolkata's first choice wicketkeeper after being picked up for ₹2 crore.