"I'm not sure Venkatesh Iyer is an all-rounder yet" - Sanjay Manjrekar ahead of ODI series against South Africa 

India v New Zealand - T20 International
India v New Zealand - T20 International
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Aditya Suketu Desai

Former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar wants the Indian team to play five specialist bowlers in the opening encounter of the upcoming three-match ODI series against South Africa.

In a video shared by ESPNcricinfo, Manjrekar pointed out that while Iyer cannot be termed as an all-rounder, he can surely be used for 4-5 overs in the middle. He picked Jayant Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur as the five frontline bowlers India should go with.

Sanjay Manjrekar said:

"I believe India should go with five bowlers. Venkatesh Iyer could be the sixth bowling option. Yuzvendra Chahal and Jayant Yadav will be spin-bowling options with pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar as the other specialist bowlers."

Sanjay Manjrekar added:

"I'm not sure Venkatesh Iyer is an all-rounder yet. But he is maybe someone who can chip in with 4-5 overs. But I think there's something special about his batting."

Venkatesh Iyer impressed many with his superlative performances in the second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021). With Hardik Pandya on the sidelines due to fitness issues, the talented all-rounder received his maiden ODI call-up when he was included in the squad for the ODIs against South Africa.

Here is the updated India squad for the ODI series against South Africa 🏏Washington Sundar misses out as he tested positive for Covid-19 and is replaced by Jayant Yadav.Navdeep Saini is added as backup for Mohammed Siraj.#India #SouthAfrica #SAvIND

It is worth noting that Iyer made his T20I debut in November last year against New Zealand. While he attained significant success as an opener in the IPL, Iyer was used as a finisher in the T20I series against the Kiwis.

"I believe India are stronger" - Sanjay Manjrekar backs the visitors to clinch the ODI series

Manjrekar believes that India have a stronger white-ball team compared to South Africa and are the favorites to win the three-match series. He feels that while batting has been an issue for India in red-ball games, the same is not the case in limited-overs cricket.

Sanjay Manjrekar said:

"It's hards hard to call but I believe India are stronger. They had a few weaknesses in their batting in Tests but have a very good white-ball side."
Preps in full swing 💪1⃣ day to for the 1st #SAvIND ODI 👌#TeamIndia

The first ODI between India and South Africa is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, January 19 at Boland Park. KL Rahul will lead the 'Men in Blue' in the absence of the injured Rohit Sharma.

Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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