Not sure Venkatesh Iyer is an all-rounder yet: Sanjay Manjrekar on India star ahead of South Africa ODIs

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Jan 18, 2022, 11:33 PM(IST)

Venkatesh Iyer might make his ODI debut for India in the South Africa series. | Photo - BCCI | Photograph:( Others )

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While suggesting what combination should India go with in the first ODI against South Africa on Wednesday, Sanjay Manjrekar said he doesn't believe Venkatesh Iyer is an all-rounder yet for the Indian team.

Former India cricketer and cricket expert Sanjay Manjrekar believes Venkatesh Iyer cannot be considered an all-rounder yet for the Indian team. The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) star has been included in the ODI squad for the upcoming series against South Africa which gets underway from Wednesday (January 19).

All-rounder Iyer rose to fame during the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 last year with his batting exploits. He scored 370 runs and picked up three wickets in ten matches and played an instrumental role in helping KKR reach the final of the tournament. Iyer made his T20I debut for India last year and is now in line to make his ODI debut.

Manjrekar believes India should go with five specialist bowlers in the first ODI against South Africa in Paarl on Thursday even if they include Iyer in the playing XI. The former India cricketer said India should pick Jayant Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal as the two spinners while Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar can form the pace attack.

"I believe India should go with five bowlers. Venkatesh Iyer could be the sixth bowling option. Yuzvendra Chahal and Jayant Yadav will be spin-bowling options with pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar as the other specialist bowlers," Manjrekar said on ESPNCriicnfo.

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Iyer, who bowls handy leg-spin, has bowled just three overs for India so far in T20Is and can be utilised as the sith bowler as per Manjrekar, who has doubts over his all-round credentials as of now. While he is not sure about his bowling, Manjrekar said there is something special about Iyer as a batter.

"I'm not sure Venkatesh Iyer is an all-rounder yet. But he is maybe someone who can chip in with 4-5 overs. But I think there's something special about his batting," he said.

With captain Rohit Sharma set to miss the series, another youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad might make his ODI debut for India on Wednesday and open the batting with stand-in skipper KL Rahul. Iyer, who has been included in the squad in the place of Hardik Pandya, also looks set for his debut.

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