Shikhar Dhawan explains why Venkatesh Iyer didn't bowl in 1st India vs South Africa ODI

Venkatesh Iyer didn't bowl even a single over on Wednesday.
Venkatesh Iyer didn't bowl even a single over on Wednesday.
Rudransh Khurana

Shikhar Dhawan has insisted that India didn't feel the need for debutant Venkatesh Iyer to bowl in the first ODI against South Africa despite the hosts posting an above-par 296 while batting first. He reasoned that skipper KL Rahul relied more on the main bowlers to get breakthroughs in all phases of the game in Paarl.

India's struggles for a sixth bowling option have been glaring over the last few years. The issue peaked during the T20 World Cup last year when the team even considered turning towards Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to play that role.

In this context, not testing Venkatesh Iyer in the first ODI, where the main bowlers allowed a 200-run partnership between Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma, was nothing but surprising.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Dhawan said:

"We didn't need him because the spinners did well and there was some turn in the wicket. Fast bowlers were mostly used at the end. In the middle-overs when the wicket was not falling, our thinking was to bring back the main bowlers to get the breakthrough but we couldn't do that. Then, in the end, it was important to bring our main bowlers, like our spinners."
Iyer is an all-rounder, right?

Unlike India, South Africa deployed six bowlers, including part-time spinner Aiden Markram. Andile Phehlukwayo, who, although more experienced, is a similar medium pacer like Venkatesh Iyer. The South African picked up two wickets for 26 in five overs. India fell short by 31 runs in the chase, going down 1-0 in the three-game series.

"Play according to the demands of the situation" - Shikhar Dhawan reveals his advice to youngsters

That's that from the 1st ODI.South Africa win by 31 runs.Scorecard - #SAvIND

Shikhar Dhawan was also asked how he guides the young Indian middle-order batters to step up when the top order fails. The opener, who top-scored for India with a brilliant 79, said he talks about how they can mold themselves according to the team's needs and play according to the situation.

Dhawan explained:

"That you need to play according to the demands of the situation, should always put the team first, that your individual game is important but at the same time practicality and knowing how much you can mold your game for the team [is also important]. Like if the team needs a partnership, then you should build one and those kind of things. And I feel that it will all get refined with time and experience."

The second ODI will be played at the same ground and at the same time (2:00 pm IST) on Friday.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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