Sunil Gavaskar could not wrap his head around the fact that all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer was not given a single over to bowl by India captain KL Rahul during the first ODI against South Africa in Paarl on Wednesday.
With South Africa stitching a 200-plus-run partnership around centurions Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen, ODI debutant Venkatesh Iyer was not given the ball despite India’s bowlers not tasting any success.
In the team as an all-rounder, Venkatesh Iyer got the not ahead of Suryakumar Yadav. If the plan was for Venkatesh Iyer not to bowl, India opting for Suryakumar Yadav ahead of him could have been a better option.
Sunil Gavaskar: Venkatesh Iyer Could Have Broken Partnership As Oppositions Didn’t Know Much About The ODI Debutant All-Rounder
Puzzled by this move, Sunil Gavaskar reckons a bowler like Venkatesh Iyer, whom teams haven’t seen much of, could have helped India break the massive partnership between Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen and allowed India to come back into the game.
“Only the captain has the answer as to why Venkatesh wasn’t bowled even once. He is a new player who has just made a name for himself in the last 4-5 months. That is why he is in the Indian team. But oppositions don’t know much about him. And when such a scenario arises, giving a couple of overs will allow the batters to know him,” Sunil Gavaskar said.
“And sometimes, that rhythm with which the batters are playing can also break. Had he given an over, something else could have happened. He could have given away 20-25 runs but at least it would have been something different,” Sunil Gavaskar said.
Debutant Venkatesh Iyer was not utilized for his bowling ability, raising question marks over his presence as an additional bowling option.
Sunil Gavaskar: Shivam Dube Also Didn’t Get Much Chances And Encouragement Before Being Dropped
Failing to understand the head and toe of the decision, Sunil Gavaskar added that something similar happened with Shivam Dube. Shivam Dube made his India debut in a T20I against Bangladesh in November 2019. Till now he has played 13 T20Is in which he has slammed a half-century and has best bowling figures of 3/30. Apart from that, he has also played an ODI against the West Indies in 2019.
Although in the press conference, India batter Shikhar Dhawan explained why Venkatesh Iyer wasn’t asked to bowl, saying that the spinners bowled well in tandem but numbers throw up a contrasting story. Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin combined to pick just 1 wicket for 106 runs as India managed to pick up only one wicket in the last 32 overs of the South African innings.
“I can’t understand. Whenever a partnership is flourishing, a bowler whom the opposition hasn’t ever faced, could be a good choice. Something similar happened with Shivam Dube. He too did not get the chances and encouragement that he should have. What is the reason behind it is something that might be answered in the press conference? What planning, what strategy was it that you didn’t even give him a single over,” Sunil Gavaskar pointed out.
Venkatesh Iyer didn’t get a chance to roll his arm over as the proteas posted the total of 296/4 and also as he got a chance to bat, he was caught in the deep against a short ball at his individual score of 2 and India eventually fell short by 31 runs.
Venkatesh Iyer, the opening batsman, and pacer had a sensational run in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 by amassing 370 runs in just 10 games. From taking to the IPL 2021 by storm to getting to make his T20I debut for India, things have come thick and fast for Venkatesh Iyer.
All-rounder Venkatesh Iyer got his maiden ODI call for the upcoming South Africa series. Venkatesh Iyer made his international debut against New Zealand last month in T20Is. The all-rounder played all 3 T20Is at home against 2021 T20I WC runners up New Zealand, scored 36 runs, and picked a solitary scalp.