Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir suggested Delhi Capitals (DC) to include Aussie batsman, Steve Smith, in the playing XI for Qualifier 2 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). The two sides are set to lock horns in Sharjah on Wednesday for a place in the final.
DC needs to shore up its batting order as it has been their weakest point. In the UAE, the tracks have been quite tough to bat on as well and in such situations, it’s best to have Smith, reckons Gambhir. Smith is quite capable of anchoring an innings against good bowling attacks as well.
“For me, Smith’s record in the IPL doesn’t matter now. I think he has to be in especially, on a surface like this because if you look at the top order, Shikhar plays one way, Prithvi Shaw might have the best game or the worst game, Shreyas plays one way, Hetmyer plays one way, Pant plays his own way.”
“So Smith, probably, against a bowling lineup like this – against pace & against spin – he plays really well. So, I would definitely push him at no.3 and probably bat around him. Because, you need 140-150 on this wicket,” Gambhir mentioned.
“It’s going to be a difficult task, especially for left-handers” – Gautam Gambhir
KKR has three frontline spinners bowling in tandem in the middle overs. Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, and Shakib Al Hasan are all capable of slowing the scoring rate while picking up crucial wickets. Against such a dangerous bowling lineup, it’s best to have Steve Smith. Add to that the volatile batting that DC has, everything makes sense if Smith makes the playing XI, as per Gambhir.
“The kind of batting lineup DC has, they can, without Steve Smith, make 160, or can get out on 80-90 as well. Because that’s the kind of batting Delhi has. So against Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine, it’s going to be a difficult task, especially for the left-handers. So, I would definitely want someone like Smith to put some runs on the board,” Gambhir concluded.
The winner of Qualifier 2 between DC and KKR will enter the final of the IPL 2021 season, where Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is waiting. The final will take place in Dubai on October 15.