Dale Steyn has offered an off-beat solution to the Mumbai Indians' (MI) batting woes in IPL 2021. Steyn believes the 5-time champions should bring in Chris Lynn in place of out-of-form Ishan Kishan and shunt skipper Rohit Sharma to the No. 3 position in the batting order.
Chris Lynn played a solitary game for MI in IPL 2021. He scored a decent 35-ball 49 but had to make way for senior member Quinton de Kock in the next game. Since then, MI have played some of their games with just 3 overseas players, with Jayant Yadav filling in for one of the 4 spots.
Although Yadav's presence bolstered their bowling in Chennai, MI's middle-order failed to get going with Ishan Kishan's paltry returns being the most conspicuous. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo ahead of the team's clash against the Rajasthan Royals, Dale Steyn opined that bringing in Chris Lynn would solve both these issues.
"It (Ishan Kishan's form) is a cause of worry. They have played some games now, they have given him the opportunity to get going, he hasn't shown the same form he showed last year. And there's an option because they have only been playing 3 overseas pros for the last couple of games. I like Rohit as an opening batter but you could throw a real spanner in the works by opening with QDK (Quinton de Kock) and Chris Lynn and push Rohit at 3 and SKY (Suryakumar Yadav) at 4," said Dale Steyn.
"It just extends their batting a little bit. We have seen them struggle in their middle order with Hardik, Krunal and Kieron (Pollard). Kieron has done OK but Hardik hasn't just pitched up yet," the former South Africa pacer added.
MI have lost 3 out of their 5 games this season and are now placed 5th in the IPL points table 2021. In these matches, Ishan Kishan has collected just 73 runs at an average of 14.60.
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"Ishan Kishan needs to start scoring runs" - Dale Steyn
Ishan Kishan's dip in form came as a surprise to many. The southpaw was MI's top run-scorer in IPL 2020, accruing a stunning 516 runs from 13 innings. He even continued his purple patch in domestic cricket and his debut international series.
Speaking further, Dale Steyn acknowledged that MI might decide to back Ishan Kishan for a few more games, considering he also provided a left-hand option in the middle-order. However, Steyn also argued that it's high time the youngster came good to the faith shown in him by his franchise.
"Ishan's form is a little bit of a concern. But knowing what he did last year and that every coach loves the left-hand right-hand combination in the middle order, they might not drop him just yet but he needs to start scoring runs," concluded Dale Steyn.