Former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar reckons that Mumbai Indians (MI) pacer Akash Madhwal has proved to be one of the best death bowlers in the ongoing IPL 2023.
Madhwal has grabbed the limelight for his admirable performances with the ball in the ongoing IPL 2023, especially in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer.
Comparing Madhwal with the Gujarat Titans (GT) fast bowler Mohammed Shami, Manjrekar suggested that the MI bowler has fared better towards the back end of an innings.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo ahead of Qualifier 2 between GT and MI, Sanjay Manjrekar said:
"It's all about current form and current reality of T20 cricket. Mohammed Shami is up there. Wtih Akash Madhwal, he is just now finding his feet in IPL cricket. But Akash Madhwal has two great qualities.
"He bowls pretty impressively with the new ball, maybe not as impressively as Shami, but this guy has been one of the best death bowlers we have seen in the tournament."
"He is somebody who can nail in the yorkers, doesn't do too many of the expected variations," he added. "So, as a death bowler, in current reality, I think Akash Madhwal has more often contributed than Mohammed Shami, whose forte has never been death bowling."
Akash Madhwal made headlines with his sensational spell against the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the IPL 2023 Eliminator. The right-arm seamer registered figures of 5/5 in 3.3 overs in the crucial tie, equaling Anil Kumble's record of conceding the least runs for a five-wicket haul in the league's history.
So far, Madhwal has bagged 13 wickets from just seven outings and has an impressive economy rate of 7.76 to his name.
"Don't see him as a powerplay bowler" - Tom Moody on how MI should use Akash Madhwal
During the aforementioned discussion, former Australian cricketer Tom Moody pointed out how Akash Madhwal has proved to be very effective in the middle overs as well as the death overs.
He opined that Mumbai should avoid using him in the powerplay, suggesting that Madhwal is likely to make a significant impact towards the second half of the innings.
"He [Akash Madhwal] has been impressive," Moody said. "He is a little bit deceptive. I think he has surprised a lot of batters that haven't probably faced him. He seems to hurry off the pitch and skids off the pitch. He is not tall in stature, so he is a skiddy-type bowler."
"Bowls stump-to-stump, which I think there is a lot to like about that," he added. "In this modern game, bowlers nearly overcomplicate things, and I think he has got a very simple approach. I think he is a mid-innings bowler and a death bowler. I don't see him as a powerplay bowler. I think if anything in the powerplay, it may backfire on him."
Notably, GT and MI will battle it out in Qualifier 2 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday, May 26. The winner of the knockout fixture will join the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the all-important Sunday's final.
Get IPL 2023 Live Score along with Points Table & Schedule Updates at Sportskeeda.