Nonchalant, firm and steady.That in a nutshell sums up Venkatesh Iyer, the dynamic all-rounder from Madhya Pradesh who’s ready to rock international cricket.
The maiden India call-up couldn’t have come at a better time for this 26-year-old Rajinikanth fan from Indore, who was one of the architects behind Kolkata Knight Riders finishing second best in this year’s IPL.
Impressive numbers in his debut IPL let Iyer stay back in the UAE as one of Team India’s net bowlers.And then with some of the big names floundering in the ongoing T20 World Cup, the chances of the left-handed opener and right-arm medium-pacer brightened considerably.
Iyer, though, wasn’t really over-excited when his Madhya Pradesh teammate and fellow Indorean Avesh Khan informed him of their selection in the Indian team after the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy game versus Kerala in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.His feet firmly grounded, Iyer is solely concentrating on readying himself for the assignments in store.
“Of course, I felt happy when I heard from Avesh of getting the India call-up.He told me that both of us were selected, so I was happy for him as well.But that’s all,” Iyer told The Telegraph.
“I’ll be getting down to preparing (for the T20I series) soon and my preparation will be similar to what I had done at the beginning of the season.I will be looking to keep working on my body in order to get fitter and also try to perform in all three departments of the game: batting, bowling and fielding,” Iyer said.
Iyer doesn’t idolise any cricketer as such.But he does have a goal of contributing and having an impact, just like England’s Ben Stokes does with his all-round abilities, on the teams he represents.
“I really haven’t thought about moulding my game like that of anyone else, but one all-rounder I usually admire is Ben Stokes for the value that he adds to any team he plays for, which is amazing.
That’s something I too aspire doing,” Iyer emphasised.
Not just for the Knights in the IPL, Iyer has performed for Madhya Pradesh too in the ongoing national T20sScoring 155 runs, he has averaged 51.67 and taken five wickets from as many matches.That’s certainly not bad in terms of an all-rounder’s contribution.
Few youngsters would be courageous enough to prefer pursuing a career in cricket and reject a job offer from Deloitte.That certainly was a risk Iyer had taken then, but taking into account his achievements lately, his decision stands vindicated.
“I was ready to accept the good as well as the bad that could come with that decision.Now having reached where I have and being called up for Team India duties, it’s like, yeah, I’ve taken a good decision and I have no regrets,” he said.
However, being well qualified with an MBA (finance) degree does have him better-placed than most of his contemporaries.“I think it helps me in smart decision-making.
“Obviously, being from an academic background, I think I’m able to use my calculative approach better.So I feel having done well in academics does give me that edge over others,” Iyer, who has also cleared his CA (inter), asserted.