He feels the Royals can opt for an overseas seamer in Smith’s place and utilise Archer well with the new ball.
Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir feels that the captain of the IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals Steve Smith should drop himself from the playing XI to provide a much-needed balance to the bowling unit. The spin department is well handled by Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia. But it is the pace attack that has some loopholes. Rajasthan’s pace spearhead Jofra Archer has been absolutely brilliant thus far both with the new ball and in the death overs.
However, the England pacer hasn’t received the required support from his counterparts Kartik Tyagi and Ankit Rajpoot. In the match against Mumbai Indians on October 25, Sunday, both Tyagi and Rajpoot leaked as many as 27 runs each in their 20th and 18th over respectively to allow the opposition team post a mammoth total of 195 runs.
Though Royals have some lethal overseas bowling options like Tom Curran, Oshane Thomas, and Andrew Tye, they are unable to utilize them as the four overseas slots in the playing XI are occupied by Archer, Ben Stokes, Smith and Jos Buttler. Thus, Gautam Gambhir believes that dropping Smith will help Rajasthan in playing an overseas pacer who can share the load with Archer.
Notably, Steve Smith is battling with his poor form with the bat. After his twin fifties at the start of the tournament, he had a string of low scores and has been inconsistent with the bat.
Whoever is the captain can use Archer in a better way, says Gautam Gambhir
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Gautam Gambhir said, “I think Steve Smith is the main issue for Rajasthan Royals let’s be honest. I have been saying it from Day 1. Steve Smith drops himself and RR can pick themselves Oshane Thomas or any other overseas seamer in his place alongside Jofra Archer. His performance will go up.”
Further in the interaction, Gambhir also pointed out that in the presence of one more good seam option, the captain will be able to utilize the full potential of Archer and this will add enough depth to their pace attack. Rajasthan is languishing at the sixth position in the points table with 5 wins in 12 games thus far and their chances of making it to the playoffs are considerably low.
“Whoever is the captain can use Archer in a better way. I remember the game against Delhi Capitals – they were 10/2. And they had only used 2 overs from Jofra Archer. If they had one more overseas pacer, they could have bowled 3 overs from Archer in the first six – and try and actually seal the game then and there.
“Just because you know there is not enough depth and quality apart from Jofra Archer, so you have to only use 2 overs from Archer,” the former opener said.