Dasun Shanaka. (Photo Source: BCCI/IPL)
Former India batter Virender Sehwag provided his blunt verdict on Gujarat Titans (GT) explosive hitter Dasun Shanaka’s dismal performances ahead of the Qualifier 2 clash against Mumbai Indians (MI). Notably, the two sides will have one final shot on Friday, May 26, at making it to the summit clash of the IPL 2023.
Joining as a replacement for injured Kane Williamson, Shanaka failed to hit the ground running for the franchise and registered a string of poor scores in the ongoing league. In his three appearances thus far, the batter has compiled scores of 9*, 0, and 17, with an underwhelming run tally of 26 runs.
Ahead of the all-important Qualifier 2, Sehwag expressed his concerns over Shanaka’s lean patch and provided a rather straightforward verdict as he added that GT should play Abhinav Manohar instead.
“I’m not worried about the bowling too much. But I am worried about Dasun Shanaka, GT can play Odean Smith and Alzarri Joseph for him. Shanaka has been disappointing. We had big hopes from him and he hasn’t lived up to even 1 percent to those expectations. GT should play (Abhinav) Manohar instead of Shanaka, as he is a batter who can smash sixes,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.
Mumbai will have to play well against Titans: Sehwag
Sehwag further highlighted that the five-time winners will need to be at their best in order to triumph over the Titans. He opined that the defending champions would seek redemption following their loss in the previous encounter at the iconic Wankhede Stadium on May 12. Additionally, Sehwag stated that Mumbai could likely make one change and bring in Kumar Kartikeya ahead of the do-or-die clash.
“When they go to Ahmedabad, Mumbai will have to play well against Gujarat Titans because they lost their previous match against MI at the Wankhede Stadium. I don’t think Mumbai will make a lot of changes. I can see Hrithik Shokeen being replaced by another bowler, maybe Kumar Kartikeya might come in. Otherwise, I don’t think they’ll make many changes,” said Sehwag.