AShwin web ST

Picture Credit: Twitter

The Match 20 of Indian Premier League 2022 ended in a thrilling fashion with Rajasthan Royals (RR) prevailing over the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by a tiny margin of 3 runs. The Royals batted first and posted a total of 165 runs, on the back of 59* from Shimron Hetmyer and the handy contribution of 29 and 28 runs respectively from Devdutt Padikkal and Ravichandran Ashwin.

During the Royals' innings, wickets fell in the quick succession around the 10 over mark, and the team needed to build a solid partnership with Hetmyer, who has been in sublime form in the tournament so far. In this pursuit, the spinner and useful batter Ravi Ashwin was promoted one position up in the batting order and came at the no.6 position.

Ashwin initially started his innings slowly, and then hit a couple of sixes to provide the momentum for the team. But, as he was unable to hit some balls to the boundary, Ashwin made the decision to retire himself for a well-made 28 off 23 balls and invite Riyan Parag to replace him as the batting partner of Hetmyer. In response, Riyan got dismissed after scoring 8 off 4 balls, which included a single six. The spinner provided a rationale behind this decision to Cricbuzz.

"It was an in the moment thing. It's a team game that we often forget in the euphoria. But then it's an important aspect of the game we haven't considered. T20 is more a team game than we all know. It is almost as much as football. The goal scorers are like your opening batter or wicket-takers. But they are worth it only if your goalkeeper or defenders are ready to do what it take," Ashwin told Cricbuzz.

After the completion of the match, head coach Kumar Sangakkara also spoke about the decision and performance of Ravi Ashwin. He said, "Ashwin himself was asking from the field as well, and we had discussed it just before that, as to what we would do."

"I thought the way Ashwin handled that situation, walking in (in the 10th over) under pressure, the way he batted to support the team. And then finally, (he) sacrificed himself in terms of being retired out, (which) was just magnificent. And then he went out in the field and backed it up with an excellent bowling effort," Sangakkara added.