Former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja was not at all happy with Kolkata Knight Riders’ decision to remove Venkatesh Iyer for their IPL 2022 encounter against Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. KKR, who have used 20 players in 10 matches – the most by any club – so far in this year’s IPL, chose all-rounder Anukul Roy over Iyer and also discarded rookie Harshit Rana to bring back Shivam Mavi. Though Iyer hasn’t had the greatest of seasons so far, Jadeja said one can’t be discarding Indian cricket possibilities for below-par performances in a few games.
Making no attempts to disguise his thoughts, Jadeja lambasted the KKR team management and stated that choices like this can establish ‘poor precedents’ for Indian cricket. “It’s like while attempting to just save your life, you are ready to (sacrifice) Indian cricket because you come from different nations here for two months you manage the team the way you want and then go according to the contract.
“There’ll always be a discussion surrounding selection. But if you start removing guys from the Indian team after just a couple of matches then you will set a very negative example for Indian cricket,” Jadeja told Cricbuzz. Iyer actually scored only 132 runs in 9 matches and averaged near about 16 before getting dropped. He has only delivered 3 overs in IPL 2022 sans any wickets.
But he had played a big part in KKR making the playoffs last year. In his first season, Iyer made 370 runs in 10 matches and then also managed to pick up 3 wickets with the ball. Due to a successful IPL season, he also managed to get into the Indian side and produced a few excellent innings while playing in the middle order.
Jadeja also highlighted Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s example and stated the Indian cricketers should be backed.
“If you speak about performances then Virat Kohli didn’t have so much till the last game, Rohit Sharma hasn’t played much, and a lot of guys haven’t performed well. It’s almost unthinkable that individuals would excel in every match. I’m speaking about Indian cricket’s standpoint. It’s not that KKR’s team doesn’t really have potential young talent,” he remarked.
Venkatesh Iyer isn’t the only retained player to be dropped by KKR. In the previous encounter, spinner Varun Chakravarthy sat on the bench after his not-so-good performances in the first 8 matches of the season. KKR is now situated 7th on the points table with 8 points in 10 matches.