Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson said the decision to withdraw Ravichandran Ashwin ‘retired out’ in the slog overs was a call made by the team management, taking into consideration the match situation.
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RR became the first team in IPL history to employ the ‘retired out’ tactic as Ashwin went back to the dug out despite being 28 not out during their match against Lucknow Super Giants here on Sunday.
Ashwin (28 off 23 balls) played a crucial role in rebuilding the RR innings along with Shimron Hetmyer (59 not out off 36 balls) as the duo shared a 68-run stand for the fifth wicket before the off-spinner retiring out with just two overs to go for the innings.
“It’s about being Rajasthan Royals (Ashwin’s retired-out). We keep trying different things. Have been talking about it before the season,” Samson said during the post-match presentation after RR beat LSG by three runs in an IPL thriller.
“We thought that if some situation occurs, we can use it. It was a team decision.” Ashwin retired out in 18.2 overs, allowing Riyan Parag to come to the crease.
“I had no idea about it (Ashwin retiring out). He was also a bit tired. It was a good decision as the kid (Parag) hit a six for us,” Hetmyer told official broadcaster, Star Sports after the match.
Young Kuldeep Sen impressed on his IPL debut as he took one for 31 and defended 15 runs in the last over to help RR notch up a win.
Samson said he had faith in Sen’s ability as he had seen him practise the wide yorkers.
“Depends on how he has bowled his first three overs. Got the feel that he has done well and he is confident (talking about Kuldeep Sen) to go and execute his wide yorker which he has been working in the off season.
“Saw him in Syed Mushtaq and he was nailing his wide yorkers,” he said.
Defending 166, Trent Boult (2/30) struck twice in a sensational opening over, while Yuzvendra Chahal (4/41) picked up four wickets to achieve the feat of claiming 150 IPL victims.
Lavishing praise on the duo, Samson said: “Boult came to me before first ball, told me ‘Sanju change of plan, I’m going to go around the wicket, and going straight in his legs and hit that bowled’.
“Funny to be around and his skills are commendable.” On Chahal, he said: “Chahal is someone who can be given the ball anytime from overs 1-20. He’s the greatest leg-spinner, if I can say, that India’s seen in the present. Thought why not use him more at the end when the pressure is more.” Chahal, who was adjudged the Player of the match for his four for 41, has been in tremendous form since being snubbed from India’s T20 World Cup 2021 squad.
“I’ve been bowling well always, in the middle I had a bad patch, but my main strength is my mind and I didn’t want to divert from that.” Losing captain KL Rahul, who was done in by a late inswinging yorker of Boult, said he just didnt see the ball.
“I didn’t see it (the ball that got him from Boult), if I did I could have done something about it. Have to give it to him. Was a good ball.” PTI ATK