Cricketer-turned-expert Irfan Pathan said on Monday (November 29) that Kolkata Knight Riders should retain all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions. Pathan further opined if they don’t retain Iyer, then he will be a hot pick among several franchises. The KKR al-rounder had a scintillating season during the UAE leg of IPL.
He scored 370 runs in 10 matches and turned the fortunes for KKR, who finished as runners-up. With two new teams set to enter ahead of the 15th edition of the IPL, the remaining eight teams are preparing for the retention list. BCCI has given teams deadline of November 30 to submit the list of four players they wish to retain. Pathan feels KKR have enough good players whom they might be tempted to retain.
The former India all-rounder though feels KKR will retain Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer due to their recent good form. “The third one will be in Shubman Gill. He was in the leadership group a couple of years ago, that’s what they said.
“And the 4th one, yes you need to think about Varun Chakravarthy or Nitish Rana but I would go for Venkatesh Iyer. If that guy goes in the auction, because of his ability to bowl a couple of overs, he will be a hot pick. You might not be able to get him back,” Irfan Pathan told Star Sports on Monday.
Pathan also said KKR should retain Sunil Narine and Andre Russell. The West Indian duo blew hot and cold in this edition of IPL. Narine found some form during the later stages of the league. He finished with 16 wickets. Meanwhile, Russell failed to get going after being down with an injury.
“Both, you want to keep them both. I know they are not at the peak of their careers, I know KKR would be thinking of Lockie Ferguson. He is really, really good with the new ball, old ball, bowling those yorkers. He would be my first pick if I have to choose between him and Pat Cummins. I think he is quality,” Pathan added.