Former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan applauded Kolkata Knight Rider’s (KKR) all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer ahead of the mega auctions, which is expected to take place in December. Pathan opined that if KKR doesn’t retain Iyer, then he will be a hot pick at the mega auction.
The IPL franchises are expected to decide four players they have to retain till November 30. Notably, all the eight franchises can’t retain more than three Indian players, while they can’t retain more than 2 foreign players.
“The third one will be in Shubman Gill. He was in the leadership group a couple of years ago, that’s what they said. And the 4th one, yes you need to think about Varun Chakravarthy or Nitish Rana but I would go for Venkatesh Iyer. If that guy goes in the auction, because of his ability to bowl a couple of overs, he will be a hot pick. You might not be able to get him back.” Pathan told Star Sports.
Venkatesh, who replaced all-rounder Andre Russell due to the latter’s fitness issues, impressed everyone with his consistent knocks in the second leg of IPL 2021. He scored 370 runs in 10 matches with a strike rate of 128.47. The 26-year-old also took three wickets in the competition.
Meanwhile, Pathan also pointed out that KKR might retain the West Indies duo Sunil Narine and Russell as they are the star performers of the franchise. The 37-year-old backed New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson over Australia’s Test captain Pat Cummins for being a quality bowler.
“Both, you want to keep them both. I know they are not at the peak of their careers, I know KKR would be thinking of Lockie Ferguson. He is really, really good with the new ball, old ball, bowling those yorkers. He would be my first pick if I have to choose between him and Pat Cummins. I think he is quality,” the Cricketer-turned commentator added.
“But when it comes to Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, they are quality players, I know their fitness hasn’t been up to the mark, their performances haven’t been up to the mark but you need to give them another 2 years. They were part of the winning team a couple of times,” Pathan added further.