The former batsman turned veteran commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has expressed his frustration with them who are backing too much on Ravichandran Ashwin’s T20 bowling skills. He stated on Thursday that he’ll never even have somebody like veteran India off-spinner Ashwin in his T20 team and he would like to have a “wicket-taker” like Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine as well.
Sanjay Manjrekar said soon after Delhi Capitals (DC) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by three-wicket in IPL 2021 Qualifier 2 on Wednesday night. Ashwin, who bowled the final over, was economical in his first three overs and picked up two wickets in the 20th over as well. However, Rahul Tripathi hit a six and helped KKR to win the game.
In an interaction with ESPNcricinfo, Sanjay Manjrekar said: “We have spent far too much talking about Ashwin. Ashwin, the T20 bowler, is not a great force in any team. And if you want Ashwin to change, I don’t think that’s going to happen because he’s been like this for the last five-seven years. I can understand us dwelling on Ashwin in Test matches where he’s fantastic. Him not playing a single Test match in England was a travesty. But to spend so much time on Ashwin when it comes to IPL and T20 cricket.”
He again added: “I think he has shown us in the last five years that he’s bowled exactly the same and I would never have somebody like Ashwin in my team because if I got turning pitches, I would expect people like Varun Chakrvarthy or Sunil Narine or [Yuzvendra] Chahal and how they do their job, they get you wickets.”
Sanjay Manjrekar further added that no franchise will want to keep R Ashwin in their team if he just focuses on keeping the runs down. However, Ashwin came under the scanner before the Qualifier as well. He took just seven wickets at an average of 47.29 this season.
He explained: “Ashwin has not been a wicket-taker in T20 cricket for long and I don’t think a franchise wants Ashwin in the team just to keep the runs down.”
“It’s not just only about pressure. If you see the batters who came in there at the end stages, you had Dinesh Karthik, who has clearly shown signs that he’s not in his prime and is carrying on a bit longer than he should. You can see in the way he’s keeping wickets as well. Morgan, he’s just completely lost it with his batting… and Shakib al Hasan who’s hardly played a game. Pressure is one thing but match form, self confidence [matter too]…,” Sanjay Manjrekar concluded.
Meanwhile, with the win, KKR has reached their third final in IPL history. They will play against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday in Dubai as well.