Ravichandran Ashwin had to rise to the occasion in the Indian Premier League final against Gujarat Titans. But the seasoned spinner conceded 32 runs in three overs.
Introduced in the 12th over, Ashwin bowled a few carrom balls instead of regulation off-spin. And, in the end, that did not fetch him any wickets.
Rajasthan Royals’ coach and director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara believes that Ashwin should think of bowling off-spins more.
“Ash (Ashwin) has done a great job for us. And even for Ash, being a legend in terms of what he has achieved on the cricketing pitch, again even for him there will be lots of thinking and improvements to do especially with his off-spin and bowl more of it,” Sangakkara said after his team’s seven-wicket defeat.
Defending 130 wasn’t easy, but talking about the pitch, Sangakkara said: “It was a tough one. 130 was never enough. We were debating whether to put them in first as well by the time we arrived at the ground, we looked at pitch. It was pretty dry and we thought it will get slower, and maybe offer a little-bit of turn for our spinners, so we were expecting to get about 160-165.”
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“We were really well-set in our batting innings at 70/1 at the half-way mark until Sanju got out. And then how they came and bowled some beautiful overs and we let Gujarat back into the game,” Sangakkara said.
Royals dropped two catches of Shubman Gill early on, allowing to guide the Titans to victory. “Defending 130, we need a bit of luck and some quick wickets in that power-play. Yes we did get two; unfortunately we didn’t get Gill in that first over and the run-rate never went above seven, so it was always going to be tough,” Sangakkara said.
“But it was hardly about calculations and maths and just about trying and get a couple of wickets and break through that (David) Miller and Hardik (Pandya) and Gill partnerships, but we were unable to do it.”
Royals had reached the final of the tournament for the first time since 2008.