Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif thought Ravichandran Ashwin could not have done better with the bat against the Delhi Capitals in their IPL match on Wednesday. Kaif believes Ashwin hit well in a job that wasn’t easy for hitting.
As in the past few matches, the Rajasthan Royals promoted Ashwin to number three and the off-spinner surpassed expectations by the willows. The veteran hit a 38-ball fifty after Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal died cheaply. He scored the highest score for the Royals, adding 53 from 36 deliveries with Devdutt Padikkal.
Kaif claimed during Sportskeeda’s Straight Talk that it was a strategic move to promote Ashwin to the order, as Sanju Samson had to play the finisher role in the absence of Shimron Hetmyer. Kaif praised Ashwin’s adaptability to a tricky pitch, saying:
Rajasthan Royals play the horses for courses, according to the demands of the game. It was a good plan, with Samson coming down to finish the game in the wake of Demyer’s absence. Ashwin played his part to perfection as it wasn’t easy to hit because the ball stopped on the pitch David Warner also went through a lot of close shaves the ball went up in the air and fell it hit the stumps without the stirrups falling off so it wasn’t an easy job to get on and I enjoyed Ashwin’s percussion.”
Although the Tamil Nadu-born player’s fifty formed the platform, the Royals couldn’t get the perfect finish. Samson and Riyan Parag scored with one digit, while Padikkal, who made 48 out of 30 balls, was killed going for the big shot.
“Rajasthan Royals are under pressure because they have 14 points” – Mohammad Kaif
The 41-year-old is feeling the pressure on the Royals, who could lose their remaining two games due to the unpredictability of the format. Kaif admitted that Shimron Hetmyer’s finishing touch was decisive for them, saying:
“They will be under pressure because they have 14 points. Gujarat Titans have 18 points. Because they are 14 they could even lose two games as anything can happen in T20 format. They need Hetmyer because his absence as no other player was felt to bat in his position. Padikkal perished looking for the big shot and so did Ashwin.”
“Rajasthan lost this game in the last four overs when Hetmyer arrived and hit big as instead of 180 they only managed 160. That is why Hetmyer was missed and they have to give him a ticket to return soon. He is became a father and has to translate that happiness into appearances for Rajasthan. It won’t be easy because they have to win two matches that they have to win.”
Samson and Co. then take on the Lucknow Super Giants on the 15th at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium.