Credit: X/IPL

Credit: X/IPL

The inaugural IPL champions, Rajasthan Royals, ended the Royal Challengers Bengaluru's six-game winning streak with a four-wicket win on Wednesday in the IPL 2024 Eliminator. In a post-game interview with the official broadcaster, Star Sports, RR all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin talked about the difficulty faced by the Rajasthan franchise due to star opener Jos Buttler's mid-season exit and Shimron Hetmyer's injury.

Apart from that, the RR all-rounder also heaped praise on the Indian batting trio of Riyan Parag, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Sanju Samson while mentioning that they can "make you pull your hair apart many times."

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports Cricket Live, Rajasthan Royals’ ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin shared his thoughts on his team's performance last night: “No, look, I think we are a team that doesn't like uncertainty. It's the month of May. We may win or we may lose. We hadn’t won anything in May yet, and I kept saying that. It's very tough when you lose key players like Jos Buttler and have Shimron Hetmyer injured. It's like running an auto with only two wheels, which is quite tough. Tom Kohler-Cadmore had to step in, and I thought he filled in pretty well today. It's not easy for these boys who are relatively inexperienced. We made some rookie errors while chasing that 170 today, but that's the beauty of it. They might go into the next game with no baggage, and somebody could play the match-winning knock. That's probably both our strength and our Achilles' heel.”

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports Cricket Live, Rajasthan Royals’ ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin discussed his bowling regimen: “Look, I've constantly had issues with bowling coaches over the years because I bowl a lot in the nets. To get into my rhythm, I need to repeat my deliveries hundreds of times. I start a net session and literally finish it. After the test series, it was tough to maintain that volume because my body was struggling, and I even tore a muscle during the series. It wasn't easy. Having said that, I've been playing for so many years, and all I want is to win for the team and put my best foot forward. I've always said I'm enjoying my game at the next level.”

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports Cricket Live, Rajasthan Royals’ ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin spoke on the strengths and weaknesses of the Rajasthan Royals side and how he aims to consolidate that: "Look, that's where the trick is. You've got a batting line-up that is a little inexperienced. That extra batter that we have is for the little error that we may end up making. In hindsight, if you look through the tournament, we've got the best bowling attack. We end up making minus 10-15 runs every game. So we are backing our bowlers to do their job, but the flip side is that the bowlers are not getting their comfort overs plenty of times. You won't find yourself in attacking stages many times; you may have to defend. So you have to evolve as a bowler, that this is the combination we are playing with. But in 2 or 3 years, this will be the core that is going to be retained, and these guys will get experienced. Then you can easily fit in someone like a Nandre Burger in there, and it's a very tempting option. We've played him when we've got the opportunity. But when we've scored 140, (or) 150, I keep saying, why not play Nandre Burger? If you've got 6 bowlers, you've got more of a chance to make it. It's debatable, but whatever it is, you've got to put your best foot forward."

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports Cricket Live, Rajasthan Royals’ ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin gave his thoughts on the star batters of Rajasthan Royals, Riyan Parag, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Sanju Samson: "My expectations out of Riyan Parag are really high. And I would say he misses out on closing games down, and that is something that I always tell Riyan and Yashasvi because they are top-class players, and now we are seeing the silver lining, the stuff they are made of. That's why I'm so excited about these group of players. With Sanju, if you ask him, he'll say he's been playing very selfishly this year, but he's striking at 165, and that's exactly what we needed from Sanju Samson this year, and I'm so happy for him, and I'm very happy that he's made it to the Indian World Cup side. So it's a great group to be around, but they can make you pull your hair apart many times."

(With Inputs From Press Release)