After an injury to Ben Stokes, Ian Bishop has admitted that it is a no brainer that Jos Buttler should now open the innings for Rajasthan Royals. Meanwhile, Irfan Pathan argued that Delhi Capitals must use Ravichandran Ashwin in the powerplay if Jos Buttler does open the batting for the Royals.
Rajasthan Royals suffered a big blow to their chances of winning the IPL when Ben Stokes was ruled out of the tournament, which also made their batting look weaker on paper. While there were suggestions of replacing the left-hander with Liam Livingstone at the top of the order, there is a strong chance that Jos Buttler might return to the top of the order for the Royals.
Ahead of the clash between Delhi and Rajasthan, former Windies bowler and commentator Ian Bishop admitted that it is a ‘no-brainer’ that Jos Buttler should open the innings for the Royals, at Stokes’ absence. Further, Bishop also insisted that Rajasthan should trust David Miller with the goods in the middle-overs ahead of Liam Livingstone.
“It’s a no-brainer that Jos Buttler should open the innings for Rajasthan and he has been one of the best openers. Liam Livingstone is a good option, he can provide that dash and bowl a couple of overs. For me, David Miller’s form and 50-over cricket has been excellent in the last few months and he adds a bit of left-handedness in the batting order,” Ian Bishop told ESPNCricinfo.
Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan, on the other hand, also batted for Buttler to open the innings. With Rajasthan having a plethora of Indian options in the middle-overs, Irfan feels that the lack of experience in the middle could see the return of Miller in the setup. Miller made his debut for the Royals last year, where he was run-out without opening the scoring.
“Look for me, Rajasthan’s opener at the top of the order is always Jos Buttler. I always liked the look of it, when he started opening, he had five half-centuries and is better with the ball coming onto the bat. In the middle-overs, I would look at David Miller and his form, if he’s having a good show, I would pick him as they need experience. I will get David Miller in to give the experience factor,” Irfan Pathan added.
In Delhi’s opener against Chennai, Ravichandran Ashwin was primarily used against the left-handers, a ploy that didn’t work out, with Moeen Ali and Suresh Raina hitting the spinner out. However, Irfan argued that Ashwin should be used in the powerplay against Jos Buttler.
“Ashwin is a crafty bowler, he went for a few runs but it always happens in T20 cricket. He has to bowl in the powerplay, guys like Ashwin and Washington Sundar shouldn’t be worried about left or right-handers, they have been pretty good against both. He has to bowl in the powerplay, especially against Jos Buttler.”