Shreyas Iyer Embraces Kolkata Knight Riders’ Explosive Brand Of Cricket

KKR captain Shreyas Iyer. Photo- Twitter
KKR captain Shreyas Iyer. Photo- Twitter
Shreyas Iyer, Kolkata Knight Riders‘ newly appointed captain has embraced the side’s explosive brand of cricket, which recently saw them surge to the IPL 2021 final, despite putting together just two wins in their first seven games.
Their head coach Brendon McCullum embodied a similar attack-first approach when he captained New Zealand to the 2015 World Cup final.
Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Shreyas Iyer Prefers To Bat At No. 3 But Is Flexible About His Batting Position For Kolkata Knight Riders

Shreyas Iyer is fresh off after scoring twin half-centuries in the day-night Test against Sri Lanka and three successive, unbeaten fifties in the preceding T20I series.
“They [KKR] have always been aggressive and they’ve been fearless as a team,” Shreyas told KKR.in.
“Right from ball one, they like to throw the punch and put you on the back foot. I go through with the same mindset whenever I go out to bat, and when I want to lead as a captain, I want such kind of intensity from my players as well.”
“If it comes from the coach, it’s greater because the energy is basically provided by the coach and captain. I’m really happy with the mindset and planning that KKR have nourished over the years.”
Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer – Getty Images
In the IPL, 41 of his 87 innings have been at No. 3, from where he has 1134 runs at an average of 30.64 and a strike rate of 125.44. Shreyas Iyer said that he prefers to bat at No. 3 for Knight Riders as well, although he was open to being flexible with his batting position and performing multiple roles for the team.
“You can’t basically portray yourself as an anchor. It can differ as well,” he said. “The situations and roles can change based on conditions, and you can’t basically rely on a certain player to anchor the innings. Basically, the responsibility has to be taken by all players in the team – to go out there and win the match and not rely on other players. “
“For me, personally, I feel No. 3 is my position because I love to bat there and I’ve been batting at that position since very long. I’ve been very flexible; wherever the team wants me to bat at, I’m very comfortable at that and I’m ready to explore.”
He aggregated 204 runs without being dismissed across three innings against Sri Lanka in T20Is at a highly impressive strike rate of 174.36. He registered scores of 57*(28), 74*(44) and 73*(45) across three games. He batted at No. 3 in all the 3 T20Is in the absence of Virat Kohli, turning in a Player-of-the-Series winning performance.

Shreyas Iyer Said KKR Team Management Is Yet To Decide Venkatesh Iyer’s Batting Position

Shreyas Iyer said that the team management is yet to decide upon Venkatesh Iyer’s batting position. In the second half of IPL 2021 in the UAE, Venkatesh Iyer emerged from the bench and provided Knight Riders with rollicking starts at the top, which culminated in a call-up to India’s squad as a reserve player for the 2021 T20I World Cup before he made his white-ball debuts for India following that tournament.

He was particularly impressive as a finisher with the bat in the T20Is at home against West Indies, hitting 92 runs in three innings at an outstanding strike rate of 184.  India’s captain Rohit Sharma had recently said that they want Venkatesh Iyer to find a place between Nos. 5 and 7 for the national team, stepping into Hardik Pandya’s shoes. As for Shreyas Iyer, he believes that Venkatesh Iyer is capable of batting anywhere for Kolkata Knight Riders.

“The batting position that he [Venkatesh] will be batting at – we haven’t definitely decided about it,” Shreyas said. “I had a brief chat with Venky when we were donning the Indian jersey – he’s very flexible in terms of whatever position we put him to play. Obviously, he’s done great in the opening slot for KKR last year, so that will be on the back of the mind.”
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
Shreyas Iyer is also hoping to pick the brains of the senior players and lean on their experience whenever he needs them. Pat Cummins, Australia’s Test captain, Aaron Finch, Australia’s white-ball captain who has also been a captain and senior mentor at Melbourne Renegades, and Ajinkya Rahane, the former India vice-captain, are among the experienced players.
“It is a great honour to have them alongside me because they’ve achieved so many things playing for their own countries and also they’ve been playing all three formats for the last few years,” Shreyas said.
Venky Mysore, Knight Riders’ CEO, welcomed Ajinkya Rahane into their side and acknowledged that he would be part of the senior figures in the group.
“Ajinkya is another one who represents change and a very positive change for KKR,” Mysore said. 
“Having someone of his experience and class in the set-up itself is a massive advantage for us. Shreyas talked about potentially leaning on some of the experienced players who are there when he needs them, and Ajinkya’s one of them.”
The two-time former champions bought Shreyas Iyer in the recently-conducted 2022 IPL auction for a whopping sum of Rs 12.25 crore.

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