Kolkata, May 27 – Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has criticised Lucknow Super Giants skipper KL Rahul for batting slow in the IPL Eliminator against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Eden Gardens, saying that there is no point in having “depth in the batting” when it is not utilised in an important game.
Chasing a mountain of runs, Rahul’s side was caught 14 runs short of the 207 set by RCB, built mainly on a smashing innings played by Rajat Patidar (112 not out in 54 balls). Opener KL Rahul stayed on till the end of the 19th over, scoring just 79 runs off 58 balls at a below-par strike rate of 136.20.
Manjrekar, speaking on Espncricinfo’s T20 Time:Out said, “The thing with KR Rahul’s team is that there is no point in having batting depth if one batter (KL Rahul) is inclined to bat the whole of the innings. And we saw that with Punjab Kings as well… I used to feel sorry for (Mumbai Indians’) Kieron Pollard, he used to come in and just get about 6 or 8 balls to play.”
Manjrekar added that Rahul should have sacrificed his wicket in the 12th or 13th over to have allowed hard-hitting players like Krunal Pandya, Marcus Stoinis and West Indies’ Evin Lewis to take charge in the chase of 207.
“So you know all those batters down… the (Krunal) Pandyas, (Marcus) Stoinis’s and Evin Lewis; if KL Rahul would have got out say around 12th or 13th over, the same score they would have come into the game a little more and I’m sure they’ll win more matches like that. We don’t know whether that will happen but it seems like a more solid approach,” opined Manjrekar.
“So depth is needed; depth is good provided everybody out there goes out to get maximum from every ball. But if there is one batter who bats 19 overs in one innings… 19 overs of KL Rahul in that kind of gear was just going to make it difficult,” added Manjrekar.