Sanjay Manjrekar backs uncapped Indian: While the focus is on the current edition of the IPL, franchise companies need to prepare for next year’s mega auction. The 2022 IPL Player Auction promises to be big business as most teams await a roster review. Given that franchises are only allowed to keep two cricketers, the mega auction promises to be a conspicuous affair.
So the 2021 IPL is one last chance for teens to impress owners, and unsurprisingly, some have already done so. Sanju Samson returns to his IPL Beast mode for the Rajasthan Royals, while Ruturaj Gaikwad returns to his Chennai Super Kings mode. Harshal Patel is way ahead of the best wicket-takers, and greats like Arshdeep Singh and Ravi Bishnoi are making rapid progress.
However, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar helped a 26-year-old all-rounder get the franchise’s attention at next year’s auction.
And that’s Venkatesh Iyer of Kolkata Knight Riders. Outside of IPL as well, as investigated by Manjrekar, Iyer’s T20 record is impressive to read, and given his current form, Iyer could well make a lot of money and attract fierce bidding competition among owners.
“I’m thinking 12-14 crores because this is not a kind of a fluke show. I was looking at his First-Class numbers and his List A record is outstanding. His average is 47, strikes at 92. That is his T20 record in domestic cricket, not counting the IPL. His strike rate is high, he averages 37. So this is a guy who knows how to bat. Plus, he is a bowler, and in the last match, he has shown that he can bowl the tough overs too. So he is somebody who is going to fetch a very high price,” Manjrekar said
Iyer made his debut for KKR during the franchise campaign in the second leg. He started with an undefeated 41 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore before registering his first IPL 50 against the Mumbai Indians. He then shined with the ball, winning 2/29 against the Delhi Capitals and 1/30 against the Punjab Kings, while replacing a second fifty of the season against PBKS. Manjrekar believes that Iyer will be around for the long haul, and not just a miracle for the season.
“Today, I focussed on the way he bats. Very interestingly, he bats a lot on the backfoot. Looks to pull, play the cut. So this is a batter who is not going down the wicket and trying to hit – forcing everything. He is staying on backfoot, cutting and pulling, and then he’s got a big stride forward. I see him more as a real qualified T20 game-changer than somebody having a couple of good weeks,” the former captain added.
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