Harbhajan Singh believes that the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) should release Venkatesh Iyer and re-sign him at the IPL 2023 auction if at all possible.
KKR retained Iyer ahead of the IPL 2022 auction at Rs. 8 crores.
Harbhajan Singh on Venkatesh Iyer
Indian all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer, who had a great IPL in 2021, had a terrible season in 2022. In the run-up to the mega auction last season, KKR retained Venkatesh for a staggering sum of INR 8 crore. After a disappointing season, former KKR player Harbhajan believes the Kolkata heavyweights shouldn’t cut ties with the young talent.
Harbhajan was asked if the franchise located in Kolkata would want to release Venkatesh and attempt to re-sign him for a lower price or conduct a general release.
“They shouldn’t do an overall release. You should release him and get him back at a lesser price if possible because the player is destructive. We saw a short trailer in the seven or eight matches he played,” Harbhajan said.
Harbhajan expressed surprise that the team didn’t utilize the seam-bowling all-rounder more during the last IPL season.
“He played amazingly well and he played for India also based on those seven or eight matches. He also bowls along with that. I was surprised they didn’t get him to bowl last year (IPL 2022). When we were in Dubai along with him, we made sure that he bowls one or two overs when the match used to get stuck,” he added.
In the IPL 2022, Venkatesh bowled just four overs. He was very expensive, giving up 46 runs at an economy of 11.50 and failing to claim a wicket.
Iyer did not appear to be his fearless self in IPL 2022, Harbhajan said.
“When a player bowls a few overs, his value increases. The player does not lack anything. I saw his mentality to be slightly different, that he didn’t bat that fearlessly,” he further added.