IPL 2021: Venkatesh Iyer has a ‘lot of Yuvraj Singh in him’, feels Parthiv Patel

Kolkata Knight Riders opener Venkatesh Iyer has taken the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 by storm ever since it has resumed in the UAE earlier this week. After scoring 41 against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, Iyer smashed his maiden IPL half-century against defending champions Mumbai Indians on Thursday (September 23).

Iyer’s blazing 30-ball 53, with four fours and three sixes, guided Kolkata Knight Riders to a comfortable seven-wicket victory against MI – their second win on the trot since IPL 2021 resumed. The southpaw made sure that the Knights chased down 157-run target with 29 balls to spare and moved to fourth in the points table.

Former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel, who retired from all forms of cricket in 2020, stated that he was amazed by the level of maturity the 26-year-old Iyer showed for KKR. The 36-year-old Patel termed him ‘fearless’ and went on to draw his parallels with former India batsman Yuvraj Singh.

“We do talk about a lot of boundaries. But the maturity that Venkatesh Iyer showed was superb. We are talking about someone who is not an India A player, someone who has not played international cricket. He showed so much maturity and courage to go out there and back himself. That’s something we always look out for in young players in the IPL. He went out and played fearless cricket.

“One of the great things about him, having seen him, he can not only open, he can bat from 1 to 9 and bowl as well. So, he will have a great future. I think there is a lot of Yuvraj Singh in him. There is a lot of flow,” Parthiv told Star Sports.

Iyer’s journer from CA finals to IPL

Iyer enrolled for a B.Com degree, alongside a chartered accountancy degree. He even topped in the CA intermediate examinations in 2016, when he had a decision to make. Attempting the CA finals would mean walking away from cricket, or at least putting his career on hold.

He had already made his T20 and 50-overs debuts for the Madhya Pradesh senior team and was captain of the state’s Under-23 team by then. A first-class debut was just around the corner, and he let his instincts take over.

“I decided to give up my CA and pursue an MBA in finance,” Iyer was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. “I gave a lot of entrance exams, had decent scores, and enrolled into a good college. I was fortunate the faculty liked cricket, and they saw I was doing well, and gave me the cushion by taking care of my attendance, preparing notes and rescheduling exams.”

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Sagar Biswas

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