IPL 2021: “Stokes won't be pressured to bowl more; Miller to get fair chances”- RR's director of cricket Sangakkara

Kumar Sangakkara joined Rajasthan Royals as their director of cricket.

Kumar Sangakkara joined Rajasthan Royals as their director of cricketRajasthan Royals’ (RR) Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara has said that the team management wants Ben Stokes to be at his best with the bat in the upcoming IPL 2021 season and hence he won’t be pressured to bowl during the IPL 14 edition.

In order to bolster their Indian middle-order core, RR bought all-rounder Shivam Dube for Rs 4.40 crore, after picking up Chris Morris for a record Rs 16.25 crore in the IPL auction on Thursday. Though they have Ben Stokes as their premier all-rounder, Sangakkara wants Stokes to focus more on their batting.

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"I think for us the focus on Dube is for his batting and if there is an opportunity for him to bowl it will be very rare or very few overs. Stokes is of course capable with the ball but his role at the top of the order is extremely crucial and his ability with the bat," said Sangakkara while replying to a query from ANI.

Ben Stokes | IANS"In terms of his overs, we don't want to burn him (Stokes) too much with the ball and use him tactically in areas where he can make a difference for us. So in terms of Stokes coming in and bowling, we have no doubt that he can deliver but we don't want to bowl him all the time," he added.

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Kumar Sangakkara also touched upon the issue of South African dasher David Miller, who got to play only one match for RR in IPL 2020. Miller recently smashed 85 off 45 balls (5 fours, 7 sixes) to help South Africa recover from 65 for seven against Pakistan in the third T20I.

Sangakkara said Miller has all the "weapons" to become one of Royals' important batsmen hinting that the South African cricketer will get his fair share of chances in this year's IPL.

David Miller | RR Twitter"Well, I think he is a fantastic player. The left-hander finisher. He has the ability to punish the attack. He had a very good innings in the last T20 against Pakistan where he brought South Africa out of the very difficult situation," said Sangakkara in a virtual press conference on Friday.

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"So he has all the weapons to become very important batsman for us in the middle to death period. And at the same time, he is a great guy with great character and it's wonderful to have around in a team. So he brings a lot to us in terms of advantage.

So when he does get a chance he will be able to really good for RR. You can't really guarantee performances but if you follow the process the result will follow," he further said.

(ANI inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 19 Feb, 2021

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