Kolkata Knight Riders dropped Venkatesh Iyer from the eleven in their match against Rajasthan Royals. He opened for them at the start, got shifted to the middle order, made to open again, and then dropped.
It is worth noting that he was one of their retained players for this season. The franchise paid eight crores for him. The franchise has also benched Varun Chakravarthy, another one of the retained players.
Can nine bad games decide a player's calibre? Are the Knight Riders too quick to make such decisions? Are Varun Chakravarthy and Venkatesh Iyer going to receive the Kuldeep Yadav treatment?
Yes, Venkatesh Iyer has had a pretty ordinary season thus far. In nine matches this season, he has just accumulated 132 runs with a solitary fifty. With the ball in hand, he has just delivered three overs and given away 38 runs at an economy of 12.67.
But consider this, Ruturaj Gaikwad, who set the stage on fire with a blistering 99, just had a total of 138 runs in 8 matches. This is just six runs ahead of Venky after he played nine innings. Had CSK management thought like KKR, Gaikwad would be warming the bench.
The same happened with Kuldeep Yadav. He played just five matches in 2020, took a single wicket, and bowled at an economy of 7.66. He was benched for the whole season after that.
Varun fell prey to the same thought process. Yes, he has had bad season so far. But, if they thought him worthy enough to be retained, he is definetly worthy enough to be given an extended rope. No one can benifit from such impateint decisions. Not the bowler, not the franchise, and not even the Indian team.
Just a few days before he was dropped, Varun said he was working on a variation that would help him add another dimesion to his game. Little did he know about the events that would transpire.
Venkatesh Iyer was being looked at as Hardik Pandya's replacement in the national team. He performed well at the highest level. But, if a player suddenly fails to make it to the eleven of an IPL franchise, how can he be good enough to be part of the national team.
Looking at KKR's treatment of Kuldeep, don't be surpirsed if you see both Venkatesh Iyer and Varun playing for different franchises next year.