"If we are looking at the replacement for Hardik Pandya, we have already found the player" - Saba Karim
The former Indian cricketer Saba Karim has shared a lot of things considering the replacement of the Baroda all-rounder Hardik Pandya. The star all-rounder didn't have a good time this year, as he has been continuously getting injuries and struggling with his form as well.
Moreover, he failed to contribute to the recently concluded T20 World Cup 2021, where he failed with the bat and bowled only a few overs for his team. However, Saba Karim has mentioned the Kolkata Knight Riders opening batsman Venkatesh Iyer and also said that he will be the perfect replacement for Hardik Pandya in the Indian cricket team.
Venkatesh Iyer came to the spotlight in the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League where he dominated the opposition teams with his fearless batting. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the left-handed batsman has mustered 348 runs and has also scalped 8 wickets under his belt.
Rahul Dravid has seen these players for quite a while now: Saba Karim
Saba Karim has also included the rising star Ruturaj Gaikwad who is currently dominating the domestic leagues with his enormous batting. The right-hander has amassed 435 runs in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy in just four games.
In that case, Saba Karim has shared a lot of things on the Khelneeti podcast and said, "I believe that Venkatesh Iyer and Ruturaj Gaikwad have almost entered the first-team squad, and I’m talking about white-ball cricket. If we have to start the preparation for the 2023 World Cup, these two players should be part of the squad as soon as possible.
They should be given as much exposure as possible. Both these players provide a different spectrum for the team. Gaikwad can be the backup opener with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul going strong.
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On the other hand, Iyer has performed really well while batting at No. 5 or No. 6 in the Vijay Hazare trophy. If we are looking at the replacement for Hardik Pandya, we have already found the player."
"Rahul Dravid has seen these players for quite a while now. The way Dravid used to prepare as a player, he must be prepared in the same way as a coach. He must have thought about a core of 23-25 players in the white-ball cricket circuit.
He must have started the preparation for the World Cups. Venkatesh Iyer should definitely be part of the South Africa tour. He must then be tracked be in the Ranji Trophy as well because I believe he is an all-format player. It is also the time that Gaikwad is in contention for the Test squad," he further added.