IPL 2021 Qualifier 2: I’d never have someone like Ravichandran Ashwin in my team, says Sanjay Manjrekar

Delhi Capitals off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin ended a below par IPL 2021 campaign on Wednesday (October 13) in defeat as his crashed out after a three-wicket loss to Kolkata Knight Riders in Qualifier 2. Ashwin went from hero to villain in one over – first dismissing Shakib al Hasan and Sunil Narine off successive deliveries and then conceding a six off the penultimate ball to Rahul Tripathi to concede the match.

Ashwin ended his IPL 2021 campaign with just 7 wickets in 13 games and a best of 2/27 in the season. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner though earned a recall into the T20 World Cup 2021 side but former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar was brutal in his assessment of the office, claiming that we would not want him to feature in his T20 side.

The off-spinner was in fine form as the Delhi Capitals reached the IPL 2020 final, bagging 13 wickets in 15 matches last year, but wasn’t as productive this time around.

“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 was quoted as saying 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.

Beyond me how Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson are captains of their side: Manjrekar

Citing the examples of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) with Eoin Morgan as captain and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) who have MS Dhoni as their skipper, Manjrekar stressed the importance of having ‘specialist captains’ leading the franchises in the bid to gain success.

“The two teams that have reached the finals have been led by two seasoned captains – Morgan and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. I have come to this belief at the moment based on whatever I have seen in the IPL… I just wonder when you are looking at T20 specialist bowlers and batters and all-rounders, I think it’s time for us to also start looking for T20 specialist captains, you know, great T20 captains. It’s beyond me how T20 captaincy is given to a young Rishabh Pant, (he’s) still young cricket wise, young Shreyas Iyer or Sanju Samson,” Manjrekar said.

“I just don’t understand the basis of that call because T20 captaincy is tough, it has a great impact… so I believe you’ve got to have brilliant T20 captains captaining sides and then even an ordinary side, I mean, look at CSK they have major weaknesses there but Dhoni has been able to get the best out of his playing XI. And those are the kind of captains IPL teams deserve, captains who are brilliant and just by their leadership and tactics will make a difference,” the former Mumbai batsman added.

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