KL Rahul : Venkatesh likely to be 6th bowling option

Insight Online News

Paarl (South Africa), Jan 18 : India top-order batter KL Rahul on Tuesday said that all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer will get a chance in the One-Day International series against South Africa.

Rahul will lead the team in the three-match series after newly appointed white-ball skipper Rohit Sharma was ruled out due to a hamstring injury.

“Venky is a very exciting player. He played well for KKR and did well against New Zealand. Having a fast bowling all-rounder is always an asset. He was looking great in the nets,” said Rahul on the eve of the match.

“We had a talk about it (6th bowling option). We want to try that in coming series. Our focus is to have the best combination for the World Cup.

“We want to win matches but follow process too. 6th bowling option is important in white ball cricket. We’re trying to develop that. We’ll give Venky a chance. We need to find that bowling option.”

When asked about his own batting position, Rahul said that he will bat at the top three. He added that he might open the batting in the absence of Rohit.

“Last 14-15 months, I batted at different positions. That’s what the team needed from me. In the absence of Rohit, I’ll bat in top three.

“We have to be flexible and not be predictable. I might open sometime. There are game plans and everyone’s roles are clear but need to be ready for certain things,” he said.

The team includes top-order batters Shikhar Dhawan and Ruturaj Gaikwad. It remains to be seen with whom India will go. Gaikwad came into the squad on the back of exceptional performances in the domestic cricket as well as Indian Premier League.

With the 50-over World Cup 2023 in mind, India might get tempted to give Dhawan a final go.

When asked about it, Rahul said, “He’s (Dhawan) a senior and experienced player. He understands what is expected out of him. For me as a captain, I want to keep him in that space so he can give us starts. I’ve personally enjoyed watching him bat.”

“We all as a team sat down and had honest talk what things we need to work on. We have a process that we want to follow. All these games are important for us. They are both challenging and exciting for whole team leading to the World Cup,” he signed off.

India will begin the three-match ODI series against South Africa on January 19 at the Boland Park, Paarl.


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