IPL 2019: Sanjay Manjrekar feels Ajinkya Rahane is not a proper T20 player or captain

IPL 2019: Sanjay Manjrekar feels Ajinkya Rahane is not a proper T20 player or captain

Sanjay Manjrekar has been vocal in his criticism of Rahane as a T20 player.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane of Rajasthan Royals. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Rajasthan Royals find themselves on the seventh spot in the points table of the ongoing IPL 2019 and needs to win a bunch of their upcoming matches to stay in the competition or risk joining Royal Challengers Bangalore in potential teams to get eliminated from the playoffs early.

The biggest problem for RR has been their captain Ajinkya Rahane and his form with the bat. Though Rahane boasts of 3551 runs in 131 IPL matches, at an average of 32.57; the problem is with his strike rate (120.53). This sounds better as it’s his overall statistics, but in IPL 2018, that strike rate went down to 118.21 and in this IPL, it is 126.53.

He has anchored a lot of innings, playing out overs, but has been unable to take the team to victory in many matches. His inability to get going from the word go has put undue pressure on Jos Buttler and with presence of Steve Smith in the top 4 of batting lineup, who also has a similar game to Rahane, RR are yet to get going in the tournament, losing a couple of matches, that they should have won.

Sanjay Manjrekar opines on Rahane as T20 player

Former India player-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has been vocal in his criticism of Rahane as a T20 player. “I have held this view for a long time now that Ajinkya Rahane is not a natural t20 player. And then you have made him the captain as well. I rate him as a Test captain and have seen him captaining India in a Test against Australia in Dharamshala and he was fantastic as a leader,” Manjrekar was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

Manjrekar pointed out that the presence of players like Rahane and Steve Smith is the reason for RR’s performance in the IPL 2019 as they have been unable to get any momentum going. Rahane has scored a knock of 70 against SRH, a game which they lost. Smith as well made a score of unbeaten 73, against KKR while failing to chase a total.

“In T20s, he doesn’t have the qualities that are necessary to be a good T20 captain like Dhoni. RR needs to be ruthless with their plans about players and not worry about stature and emotion. Do what’s right for the team. I have said it before also that Rahane and Steve Smith in the top six of batting is the right kind of balance in a T20 game,” Manjrekar added.

Rahane says he backs his ability to play proper shots and doesn’t need power hitting

“It’s not all about power hitting as someone has to anchor the innings and play proper cricket in 20 overs. Guys around him can play proper power hitting shots. I have always believed in my abilities and in other guys as well. We have Rahul Tripathi and Sanju Samson to play big shots and it’s important to stick to your strength,” Rahane was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

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