Former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja was not at all pleased with Kolkata Knight Riders’ decision to drop Venkatesh Iyer for their IPL 2022 match against the Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. KKR, who have used 20 players in 10 matches – the most by any team – so far in this year’s IPL, picked all-rounder Anukul Roy over Iyer and also dropped young Harshit Rana to bring back Shivam Mavi. While Iyer hasn’t had the best of seasons so far, Jadeja said one can’t be dropping Indian cricket probables for below-par performances in a few games. (Full coverage of IPL 2022)
Making no attempts to hide his thoughts, Jadeja slammed the KKR team management and added that decisions like these can set ‘bad precedents’ for Indian cricket.
“It’s like while trying to save your life, you are ready to (sacrifice) Indian cricket because you come from different nations here for two months you run the team the way you want and then leave according to the contract.
“There will always be a debate regarding selection. But if you start dropping players of the Indian team after just a handful of matches then you will set a very bad precedent for Indian cricket,” Jadeja told Cricbuzz.
Iyer managed to score only 132 runs in 9 matches at an average of 16 before getting dropped. He has only bowled 3 overs in IPL 2022 without taking any wickets.
But he had played a major role in KKR reaching the finals last year. In his first season, Iyer scored 370 runs in 10 matches and also picked up 3 wickets with the ball. Due to his breakthrough IPL season, he also managed to break into the Indian side and played a few decent knocks while batting in the middle order.
Jadeja also cited Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s example and said the Indian cricketers should be backed.
“If you talk about performance then Virat Kohli didn’t have much till the last game, Rohit Sharma hasn’t performed much, a lot of players haven’t performed well. It’s almost impossible that players would perform in every match. I’m talking about Indian cricket’s perspective. It’s not that KKR’s team doesn’t have promising young talent,” he added.
Iyer was not the only retained player to be dropped by KKR. In the previous match, spinner Varun Chakravarthy was also made to sit on the bench after his unimpressive performances in the first 8 matches of the season.
KKR are currently in the 7th spot with 8 points in 10 matches.