Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar reckons that Rajasthan Royals spinner Ravichandran Ashwin could struggle if the wicket at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad isn't conducive for spinners.
Speaking on ESPNcricinfo ahead of the RR vs RCB game on Friday, Sanjay Manjrekar pointed out that Ravichandran Ashwin tends to use a lot of variations if there isn't much turn on the surface. He opined that RR will have an advantage in Qualifier 2 if the wicket helps spinners as they have two proven bowlers in their lineup.
Sanjay Manjrekar said:
"Ravichandran Ashwin is a problem for RR on flat tracks as he tries a lot of variations. He bowls fewer off-spinners on such occasions. But when there is turn, then he becomes a dangerous bowler. RR will benefit if the pitch is favourable for spinners as Chahal and Ashwin will bowl in tandem."
The cricketer-turned-commentator pointed out that the RR bowlers have been ordinary towards the backend of the innings. He mentioned that death bowling could be an issue for them in Qualifier 2 as well.
However, Sanjay Manjrekar suggested that the likes of Prasidh Krishna and Obed McCoy might be their best bet for the final overs. He added that Sanju Samson and Co. will be using Trent Boult upfront as he is more effective with the new ball. Manjrekar added:
"Death bowling has been a weakness for RR. Trent Boult is a world-class bowler but they have to use him with the new ball as his record isn't that great in the death overs. They have backed Prasidh Krishna and he has done decently well this season. Obed McCoy has proved to be a surprise package and they will trust him to deliver. There's no option other than Riyan Parag for the sixth bowler."
The Rajasthan-based side will be looking to bounce back after their Qualifier 1 defeat against Gujarat Titans (GT). They will lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Qualifier 2 on Friday, May 27 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
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RCB will be the favourties to win against RR in IPL 2022 playoffs
Sanjay Manjrekar stated that RCB appear to be the favourites to win their clash against RR. He highlighted that the Bangalore side have a number of players who have the temperament needed for such a crucial tie.
However, he also spoke about how Rajasthan have managed to win games even after losing tosses on most occasions. Sanjay Manjrekar explained:
"RR have gotten used to winning matches despite losing the tosses. But RCB have players, have the temperament that is needed for big matches. While RR lost their game against GT, they didn't lose it by a big margin. But looking at the two sides, I feel Bangalore will be the favourites to win the game."
It is worth mentioning that Rajasthan secured nine wins in the league stage and finished second in the IPL points table 2022. They suffered a seven-wicket loss to GT in Qualifier 1 and will be aiming to bounce back as they look to book a place in the final.