Prithvi Shaw. (Image Credits: Twitter)
Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar previewed Friday’s blockbuster clash between the Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals, set to take place in Mumbai. Manjrekar feels one of the key battles of the match will be between Prithvi Shaw and Trent Boult.
Left-arm speedster Trent Boult holds the upper hand over Shaw, claiming his wicket thrice in five matches in the IPL. The Indian youngster has a strike rate of only 106 against Boult and scored 19 runs. It could be one of the deciding factors of the game.
Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Manjrekar feels a lot will depend on how many overs Boult delivers with the new ball. The 56-year old stated that Shaw remains vulnerable to in-swingers; hence, he must be mindful of them.
“The way Shaw has been playing, it’s 50-50. If the tactics are right, Delhi Capitals’ top order can hurt the Royals big time. Trent Boult bowls well with the new ball and has been less effective in the middle and death overs. If see tactically, Boult can make a difference in his first 2-3 overs with the new ball because the in-swinger troubles Shaw. He punishes good length deliveries, but Shaw has to be alert against in-swining full balls.”
Shaw has been in sensational form this year, striking at 170.86 in six matches and scoring 217 runs including two fifties.
The cricketer-turned-commentator pointed out that Jos Buttler and Shimron Hetmyer are the heart and soul of the team. However, he wishes to see how the Royals fare if Buttler fails. He also backs Riyan Parag to return to form.
“Royals’ two overseas players – Buttler and Hetmyer are impacting the team massively and the former is making big scores. He bats deep into the innings due to which Sanju Samson hasn’t got too many opportunities. Padikkal looks slightly out of form. It remains to be seen if Buttler fails, how Rajasthan responds to it. I think Riyan Parag will perform and I’m praying he returns to form.”
“When the team plays well and is winning with Buttler as the game-changer, these weaknesses often hide. However, moving forward, there are many games left. If Buttler fails to fire, it will be interesting to see how they play.”
Buttler holds the Orange Cap and is miles ahead of KL Rahul in second. The English batter has accumulated 375 runs in six innings at 75 and has already hammered two centuries.
“The game-changing or the reliable bowlers within their ranks are the spinners” – Sanjay Manjrekar
Yuzvendra Chahal took a hattrick in the last game. (Credits: Twitter)
Addressing the Royals’ bowling attack, the former cricketer conceded that Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin are the only two reliable bowlers in their ranks. Manjrekar thinks the pacers, including Boult, are vulnerable.
“We saw Trent Boult proved expensive, conceding approx 20 runs an over in the last game. Hence, I don’t consider him a reputed IPL bowler. Prasidh Krishna is a good Indian bowler and Obed McCoy is a bit of a gamble. The game-changing or the reliable bowlers within their ranks are the spinners. They both are complimenting each other well, with Chahal taking wickets and Ashwin proving economical.”
“If Ashwin was the only spinner and was bowling economically, the team wouldn’t have derived much benefit. Chahal picking up wickets and Ashwin keeping it tight is making a huge difference. Ashwin’s confidence would also be high as he dismissed Andre Russell and it was a game-changing moment.”
While the Royals and Capitals have won 12 games each between them, the former has emerged victorious in the last four.