Sanjay Manjrekar credited the duo of Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi for the resurgence of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. The attacking starts that they have provided at the top of the order have helped the side put up decent totals on the board.
KKR won just two out of their seven matches in the first leg. They started the second leg in whirlwind fashion, however, winning their first two matches comprehensively. They then went down to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in a closely fought contest in the third match.
The free-flowing batting of Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi has helped reduce KKR’s dependence on the senior pros in the side, reckons Sanjay Manjrekar.
“Kolkata, it’s been quite a story in this Indian T20 league. The resurgence of Kolkata in the second half. It’s really on the back of two players. One cost them (INR) 20 lakhs, the other (INR) 60 lakhs. I am talking about Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi. These guys have set to light the whole platform for Kolkata to the extent that they have not had to rely so much on the likes of Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, or Morgan,” Sanjay Manjrekar said on Instagram (presented by Dafa News).
Sanjay Manjrekar lauded the bowling unit of KKR, especially the spin duo of Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine.
“Bowling is looking really formidable. Both spinners, Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine, showing class in the last couple of games. Lockie Ferguson, good death bowler. If Russell is fit, he bowls in the death as well. And they will be hoping that he is fit.”
Sanjay Manjrekar shared his concerns about Prasidh Krishna bowling at the death. The expensive penultimate over against CSK cost his side the match on Sunday (September 26). Manjrekar felt KKR could use their spinners more at the death.
“Maybe Kolkata could look to use Prasidh Krishna in the first 16-17 overs. And if he doesn’t bowl his full quota of four overs, maybe they could not use him at the death and have Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine to bowl at the death, because these are bowlers capable of bowling in the death. A lot of power hitters aren’t so good at death when it comes to hitting the spin.”
“It is the best team in this T20 league” – Sanjay Manjrekar on Delhi Capitals
Sanjay Manjrekar reckons Delhi Capitals (DC) are the best side in the IPL based on their current form. He pointed to their bench strength that allows the Capitals to be at their best even when a regular player misses out on a game.
“Delhi is a formidable side. As of today or in current form, it is the best team in this T20 league. When you call a big team, that is a team that doesn’t have any major weaknesses. In the last game, when Stoinis wasn’t fit, they played Lalit Yadav and it didn’t affect their performance. When they miss a player, it doesn’t affect their team drastically,” Sanjay Manjrekar added.
The only weakness the Capitals have, according to Sanjay Manjrekar, would be their dependence on two finger spinners. He wants Rishabh Pant to play wrist-spinner Amit Mishra to change that up.
“If at all there is a little weakness, maybe two finger spinners is a gamble. If you get a flat pitch and a power-hitting batting unit in the opposition, that can be a bit of a risk. So maybe Amit Mishra could get some games on occasion, because, every time he has played for Delhi, he has made quite a mark,” Sanjay Manjrekar signed off.
The Delhi Capitals will go up against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday (September 28). It is shaping up to be an exciting battle between the teams placed second and fourth in the points table. The Capitals have the opportunity to get to the top of the table by winning this encounter.