All-rounder Hardik Pandya’s fitness has been constantly being questioned since the announcement of Team India for the T20 World Cup starting October 17 in the UAE. Hardik was included in the Indian team for the upcoming T20 World Cup only last month. But Hardik did not bowl a single over for Mumbai Indians in the second leg of IPL 2021, about which his fitness still remains in doubt. The selectors are also worried in view of Hardik’s condition and that is why they have asked Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer to stay with the Indian team as a cover for this star all-rounder of Mumbai Indians.
Venkatesh Iyer is likely to be asked to stay in the Indian bubble as a cover-up for Hardik Pandya in the T20 World Cup. (Source – PTI)
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 12, 2021
As reported by news agency PTI, Knight Riders’ rising opener and medium pacer Venkatesh Iyer has been asked to stay in the bio-bubble in Dubai as cover for the T20 World Cup. Hardik will be associated with the Indian team as a batsman while Iyer will be their cover. Hardik is likely to play as a pure batsman in the T20 World Cup as he is not in a position to bowl as of now. India has to play its first match in the tournament against Pakistan on 24 October.
Venkatesh Iyer has impressed everyone with his performance in the second phase of IPL 2021. Apart from scoring 265 runs in 8 matches, he has also taken three wickets. Venkatesh has a batting average of 37.85 and a strike rate of 123.25. He has also hit two half-centuries, with 67 runs being his highest score. Venkatesh has given runs in bowling at an economy rate of 8.53. Hardik did not bowl even in IPL 2021. His performance with the bat was also disappointing. He scored only 127 runs in 12 matches and his highest score was 40 not out.