Aussie great Brad Hogg feels that Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) opening batter Venkatesh Iyer needs to deliver in IPL 2023 after his dismal performance last season. He pointed out that KKR retained him despite scoring a lone half-century the previous season.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Hogg said:
“Venkatesh Iyer at the top of the order needs to lift his willow. He only got one fifty last year and from the previous season, that’s not good enough, especially with the money they are spending on him.”
Venkatesh was bought for Rs 8 crore by KKR last season, a staggering price rise after his impressive debut (Rs 20 lakh). The left-hander managed 182 runs in 12 matches at a below-par strike rate of 107.69, including a solitary fifty against Mumbai Indians (MI).
The southpaw’s performances had a negative effect on KKR as they finished seventh on the points table with six wins in 14 games.
Iyer, however, had a terrific outing in his debut season, with 370 runs in 10 matches, including four half-centuries.
“He needs to stand up and deliver” – Brad Hogg after Varun Chakraborty’s failure for KKR last IPL season
Hogg also questioned spinner Varun Chakravarthy’s performance for KKR last season. He too was bought for Rs 8 crore but picked up only six wickets in 11 games at an economy rate of 8.51.
On this, he said:
“Talking about spin, Varun Chakravarthy. I think he needs to stand up and deliver his quality this year. He was just lacking a little confidence last year.”
The right-arm spinner, though, was their leading wicket-taker in the 2020 season (17 wickets) and the 2021 edition (18 wickets).
KKR, meanwhile, will look to sign an overseas opener and an Indian middle-order batter to strengthen their side ahead of IPL 2023. With three overseas slots remaining, Shreyas Iyer and Co. have Rs 7.05 crore in their bag for the IPL 2023 mini-auction in Kochi on December 23.
Current squad: Shreyas Iyer (capt), Nitish Rana, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Venkatesh Iyer, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Lockie Ferguson, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakravarthy, Anukul Roy, and Rinku Singh.
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