Why did Venkatesh Iyer bat at no.6 against Rajasthan Royals? KKR coach Brendon McCullum explains

Rajasthan Royals (RR) defeated Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 7 runs in a thrilling encounter in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 on Monday. Riding on Jos Buttler’s exceptional century, RR went on to post a huge total of 217 runs on the board at the Brabourne Stadium before the bowlers helped them bundle out KKR on 210 runs to secure a close win.

While Buttler was the star with the bat for RR, Yuzvendr Chahal bowled a sensational 17th over which turned the game on its head. Chahal claimed his maiden IPL hat-trick and picked four wickets in the over to run through the KKR batting line-up and set up a nail-biting win for the Royals.

KKR decided to send Sunil Narine to open the batting along with Aaron Finch in the run-chase. However, the move didn’t work in their favour as Narine was run out on the very first without facing a delivery. Despite the poor start, KKR looked on track for a win courtesy of skipper Shreyas Iyer’s brilliant 85 off 51 balls and Finch’s stupendous knock of 28-ball 58.

Also Read: Watch: Shreyas Iyer loses cool at Venkatesh Iyer after latter denied a double to KKR skipper vs RR

However, they ended up falling short at the end towards the end after Chahal’s sensational 4-wicket over. KKR head coach Brendon McCullum was asked about the move to not let Venkatesh Iyer open the batting with Finch and send Narine at the top. Explaining the move, McCullum said Iyer’s ability to tackle spin well was one of the reasons behind the change in his batting position.

“We thought that Narine and Finch at the top was a very good opportunity. We knew that the wicket was going to be good; it was going to be a high-scoring game. We know how Narine plays. Unfortunately, he didn’t face a ball tonight. It can happen sometimes, but Finch and Shreyas Iyer were absolutely brilliant at the top of the order,” McCullum said after the game.

“We wanted to give Venkatesh Iyer an option through the middle against spin in particular – against (Ravichandran) Ashwin and Chahal. He’s a very good player of spin and, with one short side, we wanted to try and maximize that. So, that was the thinking behind it,” he added.

Also Read: Yuzvendra Chahal bags his maiden IPL hat-trick, takes 4 wickets in a single over against KKR

Iyer, who had opened in the first six matches for KKR this season, came out to bat at no.6 against Rajasthan Royals on Monday. However, the move backfired as he was dismissed on 6 off 7 balls and failed to make an impact as KKR faltered in the run-chase to suffer their fourth defeat of the season.

 

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