Former Indian cricketer and commentator Gautam Gambhir believes that R Ashwin will be a key for the Delhi Capitals (DC) given his experience in Qualifier 2 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) on Wednesday (October 13) in Sharjah.
Former India captain also said that Delhi Capitals (DC) needs an aggressive Ashwin to succeed against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Qualifier 2 to make it to the IPL 2021 final for the second consecutive time.
However, the off-spinner hasn't yet seen at his usual best, as he could manage only 5 wickets and 44 runs from 12 games for DC in the ongoing IPL 2021 and Gambhir suggested Ashwin bowl his full range of deliveries in Qualifier 2 against KKR in Sharjah on Wednesday.
Gambhir wrote in his column for the Times of India: “I felt R Ashwin didn't have a good day against CSK in Qualifier 1. At one point, he just bowled carom balls, whereas he should have stuck to normal off-spin. For DC to succeed against KKR in Qualifier 2, Ashwin is the key as he is a man with 400 Test wickets. Besides, there are plenty of left-handers in the KKR team – Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan, Nitish Rana, and Shakib Al Hasan. DC needs an aggressive Ashwin.”
Citing his own experience from his playing days, the former cricket pointed that the decision of DC skipper Rishabh Pant to ask Avesh Khan to bowl the 19th over against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Qualifier 1 wasn’t his own, as the pacer conceded 11 runs in the over.
Gambhir recalled, “Back in the time when I was an active cricketer, I used to write this column in shorts, between ice baths, shunting from physio's room to hotel gym. Now, as a retired cricketer-turned-commentator, I do it in a pleasant 18-degree centigrade studio of Star Sports. During my days as KKR captain, I was once told about the idea of captaining a cricket team from a dugout.
Sitting at Hotel ITC Sonar in Kolkata, I was about to dig into my favorite Mysore Masala Dosa when the subject was thrown at me. Normally, I can't hide my emotions but thanks to the Dosa, I could manage getting drawn into the subject. But I sense that something similar is going on in some IPL teams. I may have to stand corrected, but it seems to be the case when DC is in delicate moments of a contest.”
He further mentioned: “For example, during their game against Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1, it seemed that instructions were flowing thick and fast from the dugout. After 18 overs, CSK needed 24 runs off the last two. In such a situation, the penultimate over becomes more important than the last one.
Avesh Khan was hit for a last-ball six in the previous game against RCB. It was obvious that his confidence would not be high. But Rishabh still gave him the ball to bowl the penultimate over. I would have gone with Kagiso Rabada.”
On Royal Challengers Bangalore’s elimination, Gambhir wrote: “RCB did most things right in the Eliminator. I thought their batters got out at the wrong time. Chasing was my option too as captain. Yes, the wicket was slow but with international stalwarts like Kohli and De Villiers in the ranks, it should have been easy. Ideally, Kohli should have anchored the innings.”
He signed off by saying, “Going into the next auction they will have to work really hard as the previous regime has left nothing of note as a legacy. There are no leaders, no good batsmen, apart from Kohli and may be Chahal as a bowling option worth retaining.”