Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar questioned Dasun Shanaka’s selection after Gujarat Titans suffered a 15-run loss against Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on Tuesday in the first qualifier. Shanaka, who wasn’t fit to bowl, was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja after scoring 17 runs from 16 balls against CSK while trying to play the reverse sweep.
In fact, Shanaka could only score eight runs in two innings before the first qualifier but he was still backed by the team management against CSK. The Sri Lankan skipper had replaced Kane Williamson, who suffered a knee injury in the opening game of the tournament against CSK.
On the other hand, Wade didn’t have a great IPL 2022 for Gujarat Titans as he scored only 157 runs in 10 matches at an average of 15.70 and a strike rate of 113.76. The Australian hasn’t yet played a single game for the franchise this season.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo after GT’s 15-run loss, Sanjay Manjrekar explained: “Dasun Shanaka’s inclusion has been a strange one if he wasn’t ever going to bowl. Today was an excellent opportunity to use him as a bowler if they had that in mind. So, if that was the case, you would think Matthew Wade would have been a better choice, a left-hand batter at the top. Then what would have happened is that Ravindra Jadeja would have bowled his three overs with such ease.”
Meanwhile, during the same discussion former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody believes Shubman Gill’s wicket was massive for CSK. The in-form Gill was dismissed by Deepak Chahar after he scored 42 runs from 38 balls and with that wicket, CSK were able to put themselves in pole season.
“It was a massive wicket,” Moody said. “You’ve got the form player of the opposition side, one of the form players of the tournament. He scored two hundreds in the tournament, which is a phenomenal thing. These are T20 hundreds, that ain’t come along that often. He is one of India’s rising superstars,” he added.
“I am not surprised that the Yellow Army of Chennai got to their feet and roared when that wicket fell. Because he was one player that could have marshalled the troops to the very end and get them over the line.”
GT will either face Mumbai Indians or Lucknow Super Giants in the second qualifier, which will take place at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on Friday.