Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar feels Gautam Gambhir had to step down as Delhi Daredevils’ skipper due to the failure of the batsmen in the ongoing season eleven of Indian Premier League (IPL) so far.
Manjrekar also said that Gambhir’s leadership was not an issue behind Gambhir’s sudden decision to descend from his the throne.
One of the perennial underachievers in the league, Daredevils are yet to win the IPL title. And it looks like their decade-long wait is only going to extend.
The Delhi-based outfit is languishing at the bottom of the IPL 2018 points table after losing five of the six games they have played so far. Their only win came against defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI).
The team could not quite come up with all-round performances and as a result, failed to get over the finishing lines. And with the fortunes of the side showing no signs of improvement, Gambhir decided to give up.
The opening batsman took the decision after Daredevils made a mess of a modest target against Kings XI Punjab at their home turf. Chasing 143, the Daredevils could only manage 139 for eight.
However, Manjrekar feels batsmen’s failure and not Gambhir’s leadership is responsible for the team’s sorry performance so far.
“I don’t think Gambhir’s leadership was a problem, it was just about the batsmen not getting runs, notable failure like (Glenn) Maxwell hurting them. Gambhir, the batsman, thereby had to get runs because the others were failing around him. Gambhir was picked more for his captaincy than his batting, but because the batting group was not clicking, Gambhir the batsman came under scrutiny,” Manjrekar told PTI.
“I don’t think the leadership was an issue but (they needed to) do something to reboot. You expected something like this after their last result and being at the bottom of the table. This was the time to change something,” added the former cricketer.
Gambhir’s performance with the bat so far has also been poor. He started the season on a brilliant note, scoring 55 against Kings XI Punjab.
However, his performance dipped after that. In the next four innings, he was dismissed for single-digit score thrice.
Overall, Gautam Gambhir managed to score only 85 runs in five innings despite scoring a fifty in the very first game.
Manjrekar further said there cannot be a dramatic change in Daredevils’ fortunes under new captain Shreyas Iyer. He opined that it could happen only if the batsmen deliver.
“Shreyas Iyer as captain can change nothing if batting continues to be a problem and their bowling just cannot be dependent on Trent Boult,” he said.