Kolkata Knight Riders broke a five-match losing streak in IPL 2022 and returned to winning ways with a seven-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Monday. KKR once again went in with a changed Playing XI but this time, the move worked as both additions performed decently well. Anukul Roy replaced Venkatesh Iyer and returned 1/28 from four overs whereas Shivam Mavi bagged 1/33. (Also Read: Nitish Rana steers KKR to seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals)
Weighing in on KKR’s constant chopping and changing and leaving out Venkatesh, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar mentioned how the India all-rounder could be facing ‘second-season syndrome’. Having burned up the charts last year, Venkatesh has struggled for runs this season, scoring just 132 runs from nine matches, a stark contrast to his numbers last year – 370 from 10 games. Furthermore, Venkatesh has been under bowled as well, bowling just three overs and going wicketless. Gavaskar feels the change was justified giving Venkatesh’s flop show in IPL 2022.
“Because of the fact that they have not been winning, KKR have had to make a couple of changes. Venkatesh Iyer… I was talking about giving someone a long rope, he has played about… what 9 or 10 games… but hasn’t done anything with either bat or ball. It could be a second season syndrome for him. And that’s the reason they decided to go in with Anukul Roy. We all know that he is a brilliant fielder. We have seen him coming in as substitute after some bowler has bowled his four overs. As a fielder he is outstanding,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports.
Venkatesh and Varun Chakravarthy, who were two of KKR’s four retained players, did not get a game on Monday. Captain Shreyas Iyer pointed out that the changes were made because ‘are trying to give as many matches as possible to the players, but it’s also important to get the right combinations’. Thankfully for the two-time IPL champs, the combination worked, placing them seventh on the points table with 8 points and still in with a chance to qualify for the playoffs.
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