Axar Patel’s promotion in Delhi Capitals batting order is being seriously contemplated by the management, team Director Sourav Ganguly said on the eve of IPL game against Gujarat Titans on Tuesday.
Ganguly, however, expects DC vice-captain to bowl a better line after getting some hammering from Kyle Mayers and Nicholas Pooran.
“Yeah, that’s (batting) been discussed and he will bat up the order as his batting has improved. He has batted exceptionally well on difficult tracks against Australia and hopefully, he can score runs for us,” Ganguly told mediapersons.
He was, however, sympathetic about spinners getting hit on a flat deck.
“It’s not easy when West Indian boys keep hitting you through middle. And they hit a long way. Mayers, Pooran, Russell and Powell they hit miles in T20 cricket.
“Yes, he has to get lines right and most of the time T20 is about clever bowling and being aware of situations because you play on flat tracks and ball is almost new,” Ganguly reasoned.
“So it’s not easy unless it grips and turns which doesn’t happen most of the times. Hopefully, with all his experience and ability and what he has done for India, he will come back,” he added.
IT’S NOT THAT PRITHVI SHAW HASN’T SCORED AGAINST PACERS
Prithvi Shaw’s struggles against genuine quick bowling was exposed, but Ganguly didn’t want to be harsh on the basis of one game.
“See, everyone has to learn to play fast bowling. It’s just that they got out. Prithvi has scored runs against fast bowling. It’s just one ball that went through. Even Mitch Marsh, who played fast bowling all his life got out early. Happens in sport,” Ganguly said in Shaw’s defence.
“Credit to Mark Wood the way he bowled. These boys go and scored runs in Australia and other places. One of those days.”
SARFARAZ HAS JUST KEPT FOR 20 OVERS
Can Sarfaraz Khan last the whole IPL season?
“It’s a good question you have asked and you will see tomorrow,” Ganguly smiled.
He wants to give Sarfaraz enough chance to play.
“Game has changed as majority of teams look for keepers who can bat. Because that becomes an all-rounder position. Sarfaraz has kept in Hazare Trophy.
“Poor guy has just kept for 20 overs and we can’t pass a judgement on him so quickly and basic thought is as we don’t have Rishabh (Pant) who is a batter and a keeper,” Ganguly said.
He then cited examples.
“You have KL (Rahul) and Pooran keeping for LSG, Dhoni for CSK, RCB and all other teams have keepers who contribute with the bat. You try options and because of that, you got KL Rahul, you tried with Pooran.
“I did with (Rahul) Dravid when I was skipper and that trend keeps continuing and hope that you get that extra batting option.”
INDIAN PACERS ARE GOOD ENOUGH
Ganguly said Anrich Nortje is available from the second match, but didn’t want to be harsh on the Indian pacers.
“Nortje is here. It’s not a worry because I thought Khaleel and Mukesh bowled well and Sakariya I felt bowled well in first two overs and went for a bit in last two. But that can happen in T20. It’s just one game and teams take a little bit of time,” he said.
Obviously, the team will miss Rishabh but this is an opportunity for others to step up.
“We will miss him (Rishabh) for the season as players like (Jasprit) Bumrah, Rishabh and Shreyas are not replaceable in franchise tournaments and best are distributed to all teams.
“….and I see this as an opportunity for someone to become better because Rishabh became better since MS Dhoni stopped playing. That’s the way players are produced,” he said.
“You see Gill getting better, Rutu playing well, so it’s an opportunity. Rishabh will be missed, but most important is his recovery.”