Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar calls for Steven Smith to replace Kane Williamson at Gujarat Titans (GT). Williamson injured his right kneee while fielding in the first game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Ahmedabad on Friday (March 31). Williamson's Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 hangs in the balance, but there are reports doing rounds that he has already been ruled out of the tournament.
“I think that would be a brilliant call, and Steve Smith is the kind of player they want, somebody who can play all kinds of gears. Plus with the new rules which he finds very cool, I’d love to see Smiths captaincy, we saw that and we were raving about it in the India-Australia series," Manjrekar said on Star Sports.
"And Hardik Pandya, needs a bit of help, he confessed, ‘I have no idea what my tactics are, so I’m going to leave it to the others.’ So, that could be a great call actually.”
However, Smith is not sure whether he qualifies to play in the tournament given that he did not put up name up for auction. The former Australia skipper is currently in India on commentary duties.
“I don’t know if I’ll qualify, I didn’t even put myself in the auctions. So I don’t think there’s even a possibility. So, maybe next year, we will see where we go," Smith said.
Speaking of his experience in the IPL, Smith said, “I think just coming up against the best players around the world, the learning experiences from each of those, sharing dressing rooms with guys like MS Dhoni, Jos Buttler, guys like that, It’s been incredible, and the IPL has just been unbelievable since its start 15 years ago and it just continues to grow and grow.”
Williamson was unable to bat and as a result, uncapped batter Sai Sudarshan was roped in as the impact player against CSK. The southpaw scored 22 off 17 as GT cruised to a five-wicket victory.