IPL 2021: Gautam Gambhir backs Steve Smith in DC’s playing XI during Qualifier 2
Gautam Gambhir feels Steve Smith can play the role of sheet anchor to perfection against KKR.
Updated - Oct 13, 2021 11:20 am
Cricketer-turned-expert Gautam Gambhir has called for including Delhi Capitals (DC) batter Steve Smith into the squad for their Qualifier game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). Capitals lost to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the first Qualifier by four wickets. DC posted a good total of 172 but barring skipper Rishabh Pant, the rest of the batters failed to convert the starts into something substantial.
Gambhir feels a batter-like Smith is needed in the DC lineup to play the role of a sheet anchor against KKR. The match is going to be played at Sharjah, a ground where oddballs have kept scores low and batting has not been that easy. Also of the three venues in the UAE, the Sharjah one is a bit sluggish and low. Smith is known to start slow and then likes to take on the opposition. He is also a pretty handy player of the spin.
Hence the former KKR captain feels Smith should be in the playing XI for Qualifier two. “For me, Smith’s record in the IPL doesn’t matter now. I think he has to be in especially, on a surface like this because if you look at the top order, Shikhar plays one way, Prithvi Shaw might have the best game or the worst game, Shreyas plays one way, Hetmyer plays one way, Pant plays his own way.
“Steve Smith, probably, against a bowling lineup like this – against pace & against spin – he plays really well. So, I would definitely push him at no.3 and probably bat around him. Because you need 140-150 on this wicket, “Gambhir told to ESPN Cricinfo
Facing the KKR spinners will be a difficult task for DC batters: Gautam Gambhir
Sunil Narine’s four wickets by conceding 21 runs derailed the RCB’s innings. His timely return to form augers well for the team. Gambhir reckons in a pitch like Sharjah, facing Narine and Varun Chakravarthy would be a difficult task for the DC batters.
“The kind of batting lineup DC has, they can, without Steve Smith, make 160, or can get out on 80-90 as well. Because that’s the kind of batting Delhi has. So against Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine, it is going to be a difficult task, especially for the left-handers. So, I would definitely want someone like Smith to put some runs on the board,” he added.