Former India opener Virender Sehwag was not pleased with Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson and coach Kumar Sangakkara for sending Shimron Hetmyer as low as No.7 in their 198-run chase against Punjab Kings in an IPL 2023 match in Guwahati on Wednesday. The decision to demote Hetmyer appeared to have cost RR as they fell short by five runs despite the West Indies international’s brilliant cameo of 36 off 18 balls.
By the time Hetmyer came in to bat, the asking rate climbed to 13 runs an over. The hard-hitting left-hander hit some lusty blows and along with young Dhruv Jurel brought RR back in the chase but Sam Curran held his nerve in the last over to snatch a five-run win for PBKS.
Sehwag said the story could well have been different if Hetmyer was sent in earlier. The former India opener said Hetmyer did not get enough balls to bat and should have batted ahead of Parag and Padikkal.
“He didn’t get enough balls to bat. What’s the point of this 200 strike rate? If he had batted at No.4 or 5, came ahead of Riyan Parag or even before Padikkal, he is a lefty too, then he would have gotten more balls to bat. He bats at No.4 for the West Indies. He has scored a century in India, knows the conditions well enough. He contributed for RR last year. And even when he was a part of the Delhi Capitals’ squad, he had a crucial role in taking them to the finals,” Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.
“So, he should have been sent in a lot earlier. He is a very dangerous batter. Yes, he could have gotten out early but what’s the guarantee that wouldn’t get out early by batting down the order? But what if he got set by coming in the top four? He could have won you the game with an over to spare. I think RR captain Sanju Samson and coach Kumar Sangakkara have made an error here,” he added.