New Zealand Tour of India: VVS Laxman declares, ‘Venkatesh Iyer can be groomed as India’s new finisher’

Former India cricketer VVS Laxman opened up on India’s squad against New Zealand. He feels that KKR’s Venkatesh Iyer can be groomed as India’s new finisher after Hardik Pandya’s axe. The supremely talented allrounder has been rewarded for his ferocious batting display in IPL.

“You want him [Venkatesh Iyer] to bat at No. 5 or No. 6, and also chip in with the bowling, probably a couple of overs or more and make him get used to that position. He could be the back-up to Hardik Pandya. You can develop Venkatesh Iyer as a utility all-rounder,” Laxman told Star Sports.

“I just want someone like Venkatesh Iyer to bat out of his position. India have got five openers in that squad and you know that Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma are your front-runners for that spot. So Venkatesh Iyer needs to fit but not in the top order,” he added.

  • Venkatesh Iyer had slammed 370 runs in 10 matches at an average of 41+ in his maiden IPL season.
  • He looked determined while making his debut and took Mumbai Indians speedsters Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah to cleaners right from word GO while facing them the very first time.
  • Iyer smashed 4 fifties in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 and his strike rate stood at 128+.
  • He also won a match for KKR with the ball. His bowling style showed India can groom him as a proper allrounder who can contribute to the bowling department.
  • Unfit Hardik Pandya failed big time as a finisher for Men in Blues against Pakistan and New Zealand in T20 World Cup. He is axed for the New Zealand series.
  • Venkatesh Iyer can pounce on the opportunity as he is unlikely to get a chance at the top with numerous openers in the India squad—Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul.