Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra feels the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) need to look beyond out-of-form batter Manish Pandey and instead strengthen their bowling.
Pandey, 32, has registered scores of six, five and 11 in LSG’s three matches in IPL 2022 so far. According to Chopra, Pandey’s presence in the middle order is forcing the in-form batters to play fewer deliveries.
Urging Lucknow to drop Pandey and bring in a bowler ahead of the IPL team's clash against the Delhi Capitals (DC) on Thursday, Chopra said on his YouTube channel:
“For how long will you stick with Manish Pandey? I think they should look beyond him. Deepak Hooda and Ayush Badoni can bat up the order. What’s the point of Jason Holder coming in at No. 8 or 9. Krunal Pandya too hardy gets to bat. They have a long batting line-up.”
The 44-year-old suggested that Lucknow could play either a spinner in K Gowtham or a pacer in Ankit Rajpoot instead of Pandey. Chopra elaborated:
“They can drop Pandey and play an extra bowler in K Gowtham or Ankit Rajpoot. It’s a harsh decision, but one that needs to be taken if Lucknow have to move forward in the right direction. I hope Gautam Gambhir takes it because Pandey is not just cutting it at this point of time. He has been given a prime number, as result the in-form batters are getting less overs to play.”
After Pandey’s early dismissal, KL Rahul and Deepak Hooda smashed half-centuries against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to lift the team to 169 for seven. The bowlers then restricted SRH to 157 for nine as LSG won by 12 runs.
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“Evin Lewis’ place might be under the scanner" - Aakash Chopra on how LSG can fit in Stoinis
While Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis will not be available for Thursday’s match, Chopra feels that Evin Lewis will have to score to strengthen his position in the LSG playing XI. The former batter explained:
“When Marcus Stoinis comes in, Evin Lewis’ place in the LSG playing XI might be under the scanner. He did win a game against Chennai, but if he doesn’t perform here, he might have to make way. I think Stoinis will come in and bat at three.”
Lewis has so far registered scores of 10, 55* and one in Lucknow’s three matches in IPL 2022 so far.