IPL 2023: Venkatesh Iyer feels impact player rule reduced importance of bowling all-rounders

Back in form with a bang after ankle surgery, Iyer smashed 83 against Gujarat Titans and 104 versus Mumbai Indians in two of KKR’s five games, having come on as an impact substitute in all matches.

“Honestly, with the coming of impact players, the number of overs an all-rounder is bowling has dropped down drastically,” Iyer said ahead of the match against Delhi Capitals. He hasn’t bowled in any of the games.

“Obviously, if a team has a specialist bowler as their sixth bowler and they don’t want to try their all-rounder…. this is what impact player rule has brought. It has lessened the utility of all-rounders,” said Iyer.

He has played T20Is and ODIs for India as a middle-order batter last year. But Iyer understands that the rule is here to stay and teams are making plans keeping impact players in mind.

“It’s a very interesting rule that has come in place. If you are playing in the IPL, it’s an international-level tournament, the think tank is so big in every team that I guess they might have figured it out in the very first match itself.

“By now everyone knows how to use the impact player. If you see the results the impact players are turning out to be an X factor.”

While he hasn’t rolled his arms over in any of the games, he has got the all-clear from the NCA to bowl. “I am 100 per cent ready to bowl. I was given clearance by the NCA. The most pleasing thing is not the runs I am scoring, the thing that I am back on the field and play in such a big tournament.”

He was circumspect after the ankle injury but is now back at his best as he became the second IPL centurion for KKR after Brendon McCullum. “Scoring and all is secondary, I am truly grateful to the almighty that I am just able to play.”

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