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IPL 2022: Keep Aaron Finch Waiting, Ask Sam Billings To Open – Sanjay Manjrekar On Possible Solution To Ajinkya Rahane’s Form

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Former Indian batter Sanjay Manjrekar accepts Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) could drop Ajinkya Rahane for their Friday’s IPL 2022 contest against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). They could decide to open the innings with wicketkeeper-player Sam Billings all things considered.

Rahane’s poor run of form has continued into the IPL. In five matches, he has scored only 80 runs, which incorporates a 44 (34) in the first game.

Rahane Is Not Dropped Based On Form: Sanjay Manjrekar Takes Dig At Former Indian Captain

Manjrekar wryly commented that Rahane isn’t generally dropped based on his form. He expressed that notwithstanding his poor returns, teams keep on showing confidence in him and that KKR is the same. He highlighted the former India skipper’s bleak 14-ball 8 against the Delhi Capitals, saying KKR would go on with him just in “trust.”

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane (Image Credits: Twitter)

On Thursday, Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo: “If Rahane had to be dropped on form, any team would have done it long back. His form wasn’t great for Delhi Capitals either. Before that, he struggled for Rajasthan Royals as well.

“He hasn’t been in form for a few years now. But captains and team managements still show a bit of trust in him. So if they play him, it will be in hope because he struggled a lot in the last game too with those two reviews in the first over.”

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KKR had no elite reinforcement openers before the beginning of the competition, yet they were as of late supported by the arrival of Aaron Finch. The Australian white-ball skipper doesn’t have motivating numbers in the IPL however he fits well with KKR’s hypothesis of ‘go hard or return home’ in their batting office.

Yet, placing him into the playing XI would come at the expense of Sam Billings as the other three abroad spaces are practically indispensable. In any case, the Englishman has shown looks at his ability and has been a critical scaffold in the middle order.

KKR Could Open With Billings And Keep Finch Waiting A Bit More: Sanjay Manjrekar On Rahane’s Replacement

Manjrekar proposed an altogether unique way of thinking, saying KKR could open with Billings and keep Finch holding up a piece longer. He said:

Sam Billings an opening choice according Sanjay Manjrekar
Sam Billings (Image Credits: Twitter

“The simple solution is Aaron Finch who is an opener and sitting on the bench ready. But Sam Billings hasn’t played much (in fact, he has played and batted in all matches so far) so they might not drop him just yet.

“They will keep Aaron Finch waiting, ask Sam Billings to open – this could be one solution and they have a lot of Indian players to bring into the middle-order.”

Billings has played 33 T20Is for England yet has opened in only four of them, scoring 37 runs at an average and strike rate of 9.25 and 154.17 respectively.

KKR Spinners Should Bowl In The Death: Sanjay Manjrekar Dismisses Umesh Yadav And Pat Cummins As Death Over Bowlers

Speaking on KKR’s demise bowling issues, Manjrekar called pacers Umesh Yadav and Pat Cummins inconsistent, adding that Andre Russell is important for the franchise. For the subsequent part, he said spinners Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy ought to contribute at the death overs, which would likewise keep the resistance from playing them out.

Manjrekar said: “In the last match, Umesh Yadav, who was in form, was asked to bowl in the death overs. He had not done that a lot earlier in the season, was only bowling with the new ball and taking wickets.

“His economy rate was 12 in the last match. So death bowling is still an issue. Pat Cummins is one solution but he too is a bit of a lottery. If Andre Russell bowls two overs 18 and 20 or 17 and 19 that solves an issue.”

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins (Image Credits: Twitter)

He added: “I believe that it’s high time that spinners like Sunil Narine bowl till the 19th over in the IPL. What’s happening is Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine bowl in the middle-overs, the batters don’t take too many chances against them and their economy rate looks good.

“But if your fast-bowlers are struggling and aren’t suited to death bowling, Sunil Narine should be used differently.”

Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine (Image Credits: Twitter)

The KKR-SRH match will be played at the Brabourne Stadium on Friday, April 15, kicking off at 7:30 pm IST.

Also Read: We Had A Better Team Than 1983 – Ravi Shastri On India’s Painful Semi-Final Defeat In World Cup

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