Deep Dasgupta has asked for Manish Pandey's return to Sunrisers Hyderabad's (SRH) playing XI against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Wednesday.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Deep Dasgupta acknowledged that Manish Pandey's strike rate has been unimpressive. However, he added that the 31-year-old's acumen and experience of playing in the middle-order is imperative for SRH at this stage of IPL 2021
"I think they should [bring Manish Pandey back]. They have someone with that kind of experience... I do understand that now Kane Williamson is available so he might not get the No. 3 spot where he did so well for SRH last year. Even this year, in the first few games, you can question his strike rate but he still got runs. He has batted at No. 4, 5 and 6 for SRH before and all the franchises he has played for and for India as well. So, for somebody with that kind of experience and skillset and for the position where SRH is now, I would say yes," said Deep Dasgupta.
Manish Pandey scored two gutsy half-centuries at the start of the tournament but failed to convert both knocks into victories for his team. Pandey's strike rate hovered around the 110 mark and he palpably failed to force the pace at will. He was subsequently dropped and replaced by youngster Virat Singh in the middle-order.
However, Virat Singh, along with Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav and Abhishek Sharma, hasn't been able to provide any stability to the lineup either. For instance, in SRH's last match against the Delhi Capitals, none of these players crossed double digits and the team failed to build upon a solid start in the powerplay.
Jagadeesha Suchith could be a like-for-like replacement for Abhishek Sharma: Deep Dasgupta
Deep Dasgupta also advised SRH to stick with all-rounder Jagadeesha Suchith, who bowled a frugal spell and played a handy 14-run cameo on his debut against DC. The former wicketkeeper proposed benching Abhishek Sharma in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar if the latter is fit for the game.
"3 players who have had a lot of opportunities in the last couple of years and really haven't performed as well as you would have expected are Virat, Abhishek and Vijay Shankar. If Bhuvneshwar is available, he comes in and then I somehow like Suchith because he's got the temperament, the skillset and has obviously done well in the last game. So for someone like Abhishek, he could be a like-for-like replacement because that's what he brings as well - bat and left-arm spin," argued Deep Dasgupta.
SRH are placed at the bottom of the points table and will be desperate for 2 points against high-flying CSK. Some experience over flair in both departments might be just what they need to kickstart a turnaround.