Two weeks are left for the selection of the Indian ODI squad for the South Africa Tour. Venkatesh Iyer had a very impressive run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy fixing his place in the ODI team.
Iyer was playing for Madhya Pradesh on Sunday in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and he scored 112 and 71 from just 151 and 133 balls respectively against Chandigarh. His knock had 10 sixes and 8 fours.
Hardik Pandya is still recovering from an existing back injury and the selectors have been looking for an all-rounder. Venkatesh Iyer, earlier has impressed everyone with his IPL 2021 and got a place in the T20I series against New Zealand. With his perfect form, Iyer will definitely be in the squad for South Africa next month for the ODI series, which starts on January 19 2022.
Reason behind Venkatesh Iyer’s selection
Since Hardik Pandya is on an injury layoff, India doesn’t have any proper all-rounder. Even Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel are yet to recover from their injuries. In New Zealand, he didn’t have a good performance but Rohit Sharma believes in giving a place to this potential player. Hardik Pandya is expected to return for the West Indies series but till then Iyer can prove his worth. Venkatesh Iyer is the sixth bowler after Mohammad Siraj, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Shardul Thakur.
A BCCI official had stated that “It’s not just about one or two seam all-rounders. We do not have any backup for Hardik and that is very worrying. The ones we tried in Hardik’s absence haven’t really lived up to exception. We cannot just wait for a player to recover. We need a seam bowling all-rounder and there is a clear lack of depth in that field. Rahul, Virat and Rohit and the selection committee are aware of it and the selectors will be monitoring the seam all-rounders’ progress in Mushtaq Ali,”
Further, BCCI will be evaluating the performance of different seamless bowlers for ODI and give them the opportunity in T20I as well.