Rajasthan Royals (RR) decided to bring Karun Nair into their playing XI for the first time this season on Monday in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Nair came in at No.4 and the experiment didn’t work too well for RR as he scored a run-a-ball 13 before falling to Anukul Roy.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar said that RR should have brought in either Riyan Parag or Shimron Hetmyer ahead of Karun, despite the fact that the latter came in during the 9th over. Both Parag and Hetmyer have been used by RR in a finisher’s role thus far but Gavaskar said that they should have brought in either of the two batters anyhow because they could have made bigger contributions to the scorecard.
“People get these labels. ‘Finisher’. It means you have to come only in 14th or 15th over, that’s not right. The man is in form, even if a wicket falls in the 11th over, get him out there,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports during the innings break.
Parag scored 19 off 12 balls while Hetmyer was unbeaten on 27 off 13 balls as they helped RR put up a score of 152/5. It was not enough, with KKR chasing the target down with seven wickets and five balls in hand. It was RR’s second consecutive defeat and helped KKR break a run of five consecutive losses.
KKR had dropped all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer from the team and while their top order still didn’t fire, their middle order stood up to the task and helped them win the match.
“Venkatesh Iyer… I was talking about giving someone a long rope, he has played about… what 9 or 10 games… but hasn’t done anything with either bat or ball. It could be a second season syndrome for him. And that’s the reason they decided to go in with Anukul Roy. We all know that he is a brilliant fielder,” said Gavaskar about their decision to drop Venkatesh.
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