Venkatesh Iyer revealed that Harbhajan Singh had predicted his rise during IPL.© IPL
India and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) player Venkatesh Iyer has enjoyed a meteoric rise in his career this year. From making his debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to making his India debut, in the first T20I against New Zealand on Wednesday, 2021 has been a year to remember for the 26-year-old all-rounder who plays for Madhya Pradesh in the domestic circuit. During India’s five-wicket win over New Zealand in the first T20I in Jaipur on Wednesday, Iyer hit a crucial boundary in the first ball of the final over before being dismissed for a score of 4. His boundary helped relieve pressure from India before Rishabh Pant sealed victory.
Iyer, who was arguably the biggest find of the IPL 2021 season, made a big impact in the UAE leg to help KKR recover from a poor start in the India leg to an eventual runners-up finish.
In an interview to ESPNCricinfo, Iyer revealed that Indian spin great Harbhajan Singh, his teammate at KKR, had made a prediction about his rise before the former had even made his debut in the competition.
“Harbhajan Singh told me straight to my face when the IPL began. I was not even a part of the set-up and he saw me in a couple of net sessions. He told me ‘you will be KKR’s find this season; I have complete faith in you and when you get the opportunity, you will definitely be able to do it’,” Iyer revealed.
“And to be honest, I did not believe that. I was like why is this guy telling me so much when he hasn’t even seen me bat in practice games. I thought that it was just the good person inside him telling me, comforting me; but I am really happy that it turned out to be slightly true. So that was something that really warmed my heart,” he added.
India will face New Zealand in the second T20I on Friday and Iyer will be eager to play a key role.
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