Lockie Ferguson celebrates with teammates after sending back Jos Buttler [Credits: IPL]
As Jos Buttler seemed set to singlehandedly win it for the Rajasthan Royals (RR), the Gujarat Titans (GT) didn’t panic and always looked to build pressure, revealed their vice-captain Rashid Khan. Buttler couldn’t continue for long, as GT won by 37 runs to get to the top of the IPL 2022 table.
Chasing 193 on a belter of a wicket at the DY Patil Stadium, Jos Buttler batted like a dream as he reached his half-century off just 23 balls. But GT had their eyes set on the controllables – line and length – which eventually reaped rewards as Lockie Ferguson outfoxed him with a slower yorker.
“We all know how dangerous a player Buttler is – he can change the game at any stage. But as a player, as a captain, the plan is just to keep things simple. Even if he plays good shots, we have to appreciate that. But for us, we shouldn’t panic. We knew we need just one or two wickets because we had enough runs on the board, and we had to focus just on our line and length. Even if he goes big, we have to back our bowlers. We just have to give our best – give 100 percent, not panic much because being cool and composed can take us to the win…You are only just waiting for the wickets to come. Once we build up pressure with two or three dot balls, then we have to be very smart and we can get their wickets,” Rashid told reporters at the post-match press conference.
Even though Devdutt Padikkal (0 off 1) departed in just the second over, RR raced to 49 for 1 in the first four overs. Buttler plundered 48 of those runs. Such was the threat that Rashid Khan, who has scalped Buttler four times, brought himself into the attack.
The 23-year-old Afghan leggie stated that he knew Buttler’s weaknesses and favorable areas to bowl to him. The move almost paid dividends as the RR wicketkeeper survived a close shave, with DRS showing the ball clipping the leg stump.
“The best thing is, you have to keep that out of the mind. Whatever has happened in the past, is past. Yeah definitely you have that in mind, you know where to bowl to him and get him in trouble. That is the most important thing and that is what I am mostly thinking about as well. Either I get him out or I don’t get him out, but more important is where I am going to bowl and that is something which I mostly focus on. That was the plan for me – I know my areas and lengths to bowl to him and I just stuck to that plan and kept it simple,” he elaborated.
Sanju Samson’s boys ran out of steam with Buttler’s wicket as they fell short by a huge 37 runs. GT became the first team to log eight points, while RR slipped to third with three wins from five games.
“He gives you that option of bowling seam-up” – Rashid Khan backs Vijay Shankar’s inclusion
Vijay Shankar has scored just 19 runs in the 3 innings so far [Credits: IPL]
Earlier, after being put into bat, Gujarat didn’t get off to the best of starts as they lost opener Matthew Wade (12 off 6) and No. 3 Vijay Shankar (2 off 7) inside the first three overs.
While Wade can be excused for an unfortunate run-out, Shankar’s humiliating average of 6.33 is doing neither him or GT any good. After sitting out the previous two matches, the Tamil Nadu lad replaced his statemate Sai Sudharsan in tonight’s line-up. Rashid Khan mentioned that the 31-year-old got the nod because of the seam-up option he provides.
“We all know that he has done well in the IPL, he has that kind of experience. Definitely, in the middle, he gives you that option of bowling seam-up. And I think that’s how the management and the leadership group have decided to go on with him,” he said in response to a Sportskeeda query.
GT will next face the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Pune on Sunday evening, while RR will take on the high-flying Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) the following day at the Brabourne Stadium.