Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar has criticised Rajasthan Royals for sending Ravichandran Ashwin to bat at No.3 against Gujarat Titans.
Gujarat Titans went to the top of the IPL 2022 points table after registering their fourth win this season. The Hardik Pandya-led side defeated Rajasthan Royals by 37 runs on Thursday. It was a complete all-round performance as Gujarat first scored 192/4 in 20 overs and then they restricted Rajasthan Royals to 155/9. Chasing 193, Rajasthan Royals tried something out of the box as they sent in Ravichandran Ashwin at No.3 to partner Jos Buttler who was going hell for leather. However, this move has been criticised by former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar as he termed it as “baffling” and “ridiculous”.
Devdutt Padikkal was dismissed in the second over and the RR management sent in Ashwin at No.3 who was not able to show any spark with the bat after being dismissed for just 8 by Lockie Ferguson.
“Especially when Sanju Samson is the next guy in, you did not like him at No.4, but then you had Yashasvi Jaiswal, but you dropped him. You had the option of sending Samson at No.3 with Buttler going in the way he was. I can understand something out of the box, pinch-hitter when there are two steady batters. But Buttler was going hell for leather, but then you send in Ashwin. It was a bizarre move. I think Ashwin was sent as a pinch-hitter but there was no need of it because you do that when the score is 215-220 and you slightly doubt your ability to score that quickly so you need someone out there to set the cat among the pigeons,” Manjrekar said on ESPNcricinfo’s ‘T20 Time Out’.
“But with Buttler, the way he started, there was no need for it and you also send a message to the opposition that you are slightly insecure about the score that we have to try something dramatically different plus the fact that a wicket that falls, there something psychological to it. I think it was a ridiculous move,” he added.
Jos Buttler scored 54 runs off just 24 balls but his dismissal in the sixth over derailed Rajasthan Royals’ innings and in the end, they stumbled to a 37-run loss.
For the Gujarat Titans, skipper Hardik Pandya displayed an all-round performance as he played an unbeaten knock of 87 runs off just 52 balls with the help of 8 fours and 4 sixes.
Lockie Ferguson then returned with three wickets as Gujarat restricted Rajasthan to 155/9, registering a win by 37 runs.
Rajasthan Royals are at the third spot in the points table with 6 points from five games while Gujarat are at the top spot with eight points.
Source : Ndtv Sports