Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar feels that Delhi Capitals are short of batting power in the absence of the injured Marcus Stoinis. Rishabh Pant’s team lost to CSK in Qualifier 1 but will have another chance to reach the final when they take on KKR on Wednesday in Qualifier 2 in Sharjah.
Since the Australian has been injured DC have gone either batting heavy or bowling heavy. Against CSK they added Tom Curran as the bowling all-rounder while they also promoted Axar Patel to number 4.
Sanjay Manjrekar also pointed out that opener Shikhar Dhawan hasn’t been able to bat with the same tempo in the UAE leg as he did during the India leg. In none of his 7 innings in the UAE, the left-hander has batted at a strike rate of more than 125.
“On paper, Delhi Capitals are formidable. Prithvi Shaw has been sensational but if Dhawan gets runs, DC looks a completely different side. Dhawan has been going off the boil. Their batting looks fragile down the order,” Sanjay Manjrekar said while previewing the game in his Instagram video.
“They haven’t found an adequate replacement of Stoinis. They played Curran because they needed to give some support to Avesh Khan, who has leaked some runs in the last couple of games.”
Don’t rule out chances for Steve Smith back in the side: Sanjay Manjrekar
The 56-year-old commentator believes that DC could also bring back Steve Smith, not only to add batting depth but also keeping in mind the slow Sharjah pitch. Earlier this season, Smith scored 39 runs off 34 balls, holding the middle-order versus KKR in Sharjah.
Sanjay Manjrekar reckons Smith should replace the out-of-form Kagiso Rabada, and not Tom Curran, who had one bad over versus CSK. Rabada has taken just 2 wickets in the last 6 matches while Curran’s variations would be effective in Sharjah.
“Don’t rule out chances for Steve Smith back in the side. It may be a brave call to leave Rabada out in place of Smith. Because Curran’s slower deliveries might help in the slow Sharjah pitch. Delhi Capitals have quick, fast-paced bowlers in Avesh and Nortje. And Rabada’s current form hasn’t been impressive. So it may be a brave call but not such a bad tactical call,” Sanjay Manjrekar added.
The winner of the Qualifier 2, between DC and KKR, will meet CSK in the final, which will be held on Friday in Dubai.