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'Dada Played Huge Role' Once Right-Handed, Venkatesh Iyer Became A Lefty Due To Ganguly

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The best part about the Indian Premier League (IPL) is that it provides exciting young Indian talents with an opportunity to make a mark playing against the world's best cricketers. From the Pandya brothers to the Chahar brothers, from Mohammed Siraj to Jasprit Bumrah, from Varun Chakravarthy to T Natarajan, the IPL has produced a lot of quality players who have gone on to play for team India.  © Twitter/IPLThis list is endless, and given the quality of young cricketers who are playing in the IPL 2021 in the United Arab Emirates, this list is going to get even bigger. Since the restart, two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders are the only side to win two out of two matches. More than their wins, it was the manner in which they have outclassed their tough oppositions -- first, the Royal Challengers Bangalore and then, the mighty Mumbai Indians -- that has left everyone surprised.  The franchise that was lurking in the bottom half of the points table has resumed their campaign with completely new vigour, something that was missing in the first leg. There are several factors that have led to this but the biggest highlight has been the batting of their opener Venkatesh Iyer, who has stolen the show in his first two IPL games. Iyer, who plays his domestic cricket for Madhya Pradesh, scored a quick-fire 41 against RCB on his IPL debut and then followed it up with another masterful knock, blasting 53 off just 30 balls against a quality Mumbai Indians bowling attack.  Till last week, not many people, barring those who follow domestic cricket closely, knew about this left-handed batter. But his exploits in the first two IPL games have made him an overnight sensation. ]He was among the top trends on the micro-blogging site on Monday and the google search query for his name sky-rocketed once the match ended. After playing his role in KKR's second consecutive win, Iyer spilt a few beans about his personal life, expressing his love for 'Prince of Kolkata' Sourav Ganguly and how he had a major influence on his career.  The 26-year-old batter said he had a special connection with the KKR and always wanted to play for them because his role model Ganguly was the first-ever skipper who led the KKR. "KKR was the first franchise I wanted to get in, purely because Sourav Ganguly was the captain initially. So, I really wanted to get into KKR first. Got picked for KKR and that was a dream come true moment for me, to be honest," Iyer said in a video posted on IPL's official website. Iyer also revealed that he used to be a right-hander when he was young but he loved Ganguly so much that he wanted to replicate everything that he did on the field. And since Ganguly was a left-handed batter, he also changed stance and started batting lefty just so that he could replicate his idol to the T.  © Reuters"I am a huge fan of Dada. He has got millions of fans across the globe and I am one of them. Dada has played a huge role in my batting, indirectly. I used to bat right-handed when I was very young but I wanted to exactly replicate Dada. Looking at him the way he hit sixes, the way he batted, the way bowled… everything. He has unknowingly played a huge role in my career," he added.  © Twitter/IPLGiven the start he has had to his IPL career, Iyer is expected to go from strength to strength from here on. He might have realised his dream of playing for KKR, but his journey has just begun and KKR fans would be hoping that he continues to bat like this and help them bring the trophy home, something which Ganguly couldn't do when he was there.
The best part about the Indian Premier League (IPL) is that it provides exciting young Indian talents with an opportunity to make a mark playing against the world's best cricketers.

From the Pandya brothers to the Chahar brothers, from Mohammed Siraj to Jasprit Bumrah, from Varun Chakravarthy to T Natarajan, the IPL has produced a lot of quality players who have gone on to play for team India.

© Twitter/IPL

This list is endless, and given the quality of young cricketers who are playing in the IPL 2021 in the United Arab Emirates, this list is going to get even bigger.

Since the restart, two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders are the only side to win two out of two matches. More than their wins, it was the manner in which they have outclassed their tough oppositions -- first, the Royal Challengers Bangalore and then, the mighty Mumbai Indians -- that has left everyone surprised.

The franchise that was lurking in the bottom half of the points table has resumed their campaign with completely new vigour, something that was missing in the first leg.

There are several factors that have led to this but the biggest highlight has been the batting of their opener Venkatesh…
Prakash Rai
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