Rajasthan Royals director of cricket, Kumar Sangakkara, thinks Ravichandran Ashwin handled the match situation very well by ‘stepping out’ at the right time, but the Sri Lankan great admitted he made a mistake by not letting Riyan Parag go for Rassie van der Dussen. The Royals became the first team in IPL history to adopt the ‘retirement’ tactic as Ashwin returned to the dugout despite not being 28 out of their game against LSG on Sunday. “It was the right time to do that,” Sangakkara said at the post-match press conference.
“Ashwin himself also asked from the field and we had already discussed what we would do just before that.”
South African van der Dussen, who played his first game of the season, was sent off at number four ahead of Shimron Hetmyer, Ravichandran Ashwin and the out-of-form Parag.
However, he was sacked cheaply for four, while Parag skipped a crucial six in the latter to help RR get closer to the 170 run.
“As a coach, I got one call wrong by not sending Riyan Parag for Rassie van der Dussen and stopping Rassie so we couldn’t take full advantage of Riyan.”
“But how Ashwin handled that situation, walking in under pressure, he punched, supported the team and eventually sacrificed himself in terms of pulling himself back and then backed it up with a great bowling effort.”
With LSG needing 15 runs from the last remaining, pacer Kuldeep Sen performed massively under pressure and the Sri Lankan legend was all credit to the rookie.
“I didn’t talk to Kuldeep before the last one. It was Sanju, Jos and the other players around him who supported him. We had pretty simple plans in terms of bowling at death.
“I just want to say how impressed everyone is, especially I am with how Kuldeep Sen handled his first game; how he bowled, how he thinks… He bowled the hardest under pressure and did an excellent job for us.”
Lucknow Super Giants were able to last until the last remaining in the game, despite their top order spiraling out of control with Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who finished number eight, hitting 28 out of 12 in his first appearance for the team .
“Throughout the 20 overs, we kept believing we could win this match,” skipper KL Rahul said.
“We have depth in our at bat, today Stoinis hit number 8, when you have someone with that much power and who is such a destructive batsman…that’s one of the reasons he’s our second saved player (draft pick ) .” Rahul is confident that Stoinis, a proven match winner for his previous Delhi Capitals franchise, can do the same for LSG.
“We believe Stoinis can win games for us from any position, we had that belief through and through.”
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