Updated: December 12, 2021 1:28:05 pm
Madhya Pradesh’s Venkatesh Iyer continued to make a strong claim for a spot in India’s white-ball team, scoring his second century in four days – a belligerent 151 off 113 balls on this occasion – to take his tournament tally to 348 runs in four innings.
— BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) December 12, 2021
Iyer hit eight fours and ten sixes while putting on a stand of 122 runs with Aditya Shrivastava (70) as Madhya Pradesh posted 331/ 9 in 50 overs against Chandigarh.
Iyer came to the crease with the scorecard reading 56/4 and then produced a masterclass to take his team to a match-winning position.
In the previous match against Uttarakhand, the southpaw scored a brisk 49-ball 71 and bagged a couple of crucial wickets with his medium pace. Before that encounter, Iyer smashed 112 off 84 balls as Madhya Pradesh scored 329/9 against Kerala, before picking up 3/55 as Kerala fell short by 40 runs.
Iyer’s tally of 370 runs in the IPL for KKR and steady medium pace brought him into national reckoning.
The 26-year-old was rewarded with a maiden call-up for the T20 International home series against New Zealand and played all three T20I matches.
The talented all-rounder has been batting in the middle order for Madhya Pradesh, which clearly shows the role in which the team India management is looking for him to fill in. He is being seen as a replacement of Hardik Pandya, who is still not fit bowl and does not quite fit in as a pure batter.
The lesser-known aspect about Iyer is that he once got a job offer in the multi-national auditing company Deloitte but decided to pursue cricket with encouragement from his parents.
With an MBA degree in finance, he has cleared the foundation and inter-level exams of Chartered Accountancy. Iyer attributes his cricketing smarts to him being a diligent student.