Sanjay Manjrekar's BOLD claim on R Ashwin. Photo | Sanjay Manjrekar/PTI Photograph:( Twitter )
IPL 2021: Sanjay Manjrekar has made heads turn with his bold claim on Delhi Capitals' (DC) spinner R Ashwin after their Qualifier 2 defeat versus Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Rishabh Pant-led Delhi Capitals (DC) lost to the two-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Qualifier 2 of the IPL 2021 edition, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah, on Wednesday (October 13). Being asked to bat first, the DC franchise managed a modest 135-5 whereas the KKR camp were oncourse for an easy win, well-placed at 123-1 in 15.5 overs, before DC pulled things back only to lose on the penultimate ball of the contest and bow out.
As KKR chased down the total in 19.5 overs, with three wickets to spare, former cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar once again made heads turn with his bold claim on DC spinner R Ashwin. Ashwin had a productive campaign for Delhi in IPL 2020, taking 13 wickets in 15 games, but failed to inspire this time around and ended with only 7 scalps in 13 games (two of them coming in the last over versus KKR).
While Ashwin will be part of Virat Kohli-led India's T20 World Cup squad, Manjrekar feels he won't take Ashwin in his T20 team.
"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," Manjrekar said on ESPNCricinfo.
"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 Chakravarthy or Sunil Narine or [Yuzvendra] Chahal and how they do their job, they get you wickets," he added.
While the wily off-spinner conceded only 27 runs in 3.5 overs versus Kolkata in Qualifier 2, taking two scalps, some experts criticised him for bowling defensively when DC had a small total to defend.
It will be interesting to see if DC retains Ashwin ahead of the mega auction, which will take place later this year. IPL 2022 will see two more teams taking part, hence, the wily off-spinner might find himself enter the auction pool and represent any other franchise. At present, he will shift his focus on contributing for Team India in the forthcoming T20 WC.