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. 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 on Sunday (April 10).
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.
Seismic moment in T20 history: R Ashwin becomes the first batter retired out in the IPL
Had come in at No. 6 to add stability after a collapse. Runs off to give Rajasthan’s finisher Riyan Parag 10 balls at the death
— Matt Roller (@mroller98) April 10, 2022
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.”
(with PTI inputs)