Former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja was unhappy with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) dropping Venkatesh Iyer out of their XI for their IPL 2022 match against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Monday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
KKR, who have used 20 players in ten matches this IPL season, the most of any team, chose all-rounder Anukul Roy over Iyer and discarded pacer, Harshit Rana, in favor of Shivam Mavi.
While Iyer hasn’t had the best season so far, Jadeja believes it’s unreasonable for a team to drop Indian players who are prospects for the national team because of a handful of poor performances. Venkatesh Iyer was one of the two Indian players KKR retained, with the other being Varun Chakravarthy.
Jadeja made no attempt to disguise his feelings as he slammed the KKR team management, saying that such moves can establish “bad precedents” for Indian cricket.
“It’s like while trying to save your life, you are ready to (sacrifice) Indian cricket because you come from different nations here for two months you run the team the way you want and then leave according to the contract.
“There will always be a debate regarding selection. But if you start dropping players of the Indian team after just a handful of matches then you will set a very bad precedent for Indian cricket,” Jadeja told Cricbuzz.
Iyer managed only 132 runs in nine matches at an average of 16, while both opening the innings and batting as a finisher. In IPL 2022, he has only bowled three overs and is yet to take a wicket.
He did, however, play a key role in KKR reaching the finals in IPL 2021, as he scored 370 runs in ten games while also taking three wickets. He also managed to break into the Indian side as a result of his breakout IPL season and produced a few excellent innings while batting in the middle order.
Jadeja also mentioned the examples of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, saying that Indian cricketers should be supported.
“If you talk about performance then Virat Kohli didn’t have much till the last game, Rohit Sharma hasn’t performed much, a lot of players haven’t performed well. It’s almost impossible that players would perform in every match. I’m talking about Indian cricket’s perspective. It’s not that KKR’s team doesn’t have promising young talent,” he added.
KKR are currently in seventh place with eight points from ten games.