R Ashwin failed to pick up a wicket against the Gujarat Titans [P/C: iplt20.com]
Former Indian batter Aakash Chopra has questioned Ravichandran Ashwin‘s tactics of primarily bowling carrom balls during the Rajasthan Royals (RR) IPL 2022 encounter against the Gujarat Titans (GT) on Thursday.
The Titans were in a spot of bother when they were reduced to a score of 53-3 in the seventh over. Ashwin, who was introduced into the attack in the ninth over, opted to bowl defensively rather than enticing the batters to play the big shots with his traditional off-spinners.
While reviewing the Rajasthan Royals’ bowling performance in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra was slightly critical of Ashwin’s approach. He elaborated:
“There was not a single success in R Ashwin’s account. He was bowling only carrom balls and not a single off-spin. This year he is a carrom-ball bowler who bowls a few off-spinners.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator feels Trent Boult’s injury-enforced absence was a big blow for the Rajasthan Royals. Chopra observed:
“Boult’s absence was felt a lot and a slight turmoil has been spread in the Rajasthan Royals. The problems are there and they are mounting. The Royals have slight concerns, one Royal (Royal Challengers Bangalore) did not have Harshal Patel and their wagon went down and the other Royals (Rajasthan Royals) didn’t have Trent Boult and their wagon also went down.”
Boult missed Thursday’s match against the Titans due to a slight niggle. He was replaced in the RR playing XI by fellow Kiwi James Neesham, who proved expensive with the ball.
“They played a lot of batting and extremely weak bowling” – Aakash Chopra on Rajasthan Royals’ playing XI
The Rajasthan Royals were slightly thin in the bowling department [P/C: iplt20.com]
Aakash Chopra highlighted that RR compromised on their bowling by fielding Neesham instead of Boult. He explained:
“They had an option on whom to play. Could they have gone towards Obey McCoy because he was one fast bowler they had available, Nathan Coulter-Nile is not available. They went with Jimmy Neesham. They played a lot of batting and extremely weak bowling.”
While pointing out that Neesham was expensive in the first over, the reputed commentator concluded by observing that the Royals let the Titans off the hook after Sanju Samson’s team seemed to have got the upper hand. Chopra stated:
“Jimmy Neesham bowled the first over and three fours. But then Matthew Wade got run out while trying to take a non-existing single. Vijay Shankar also got out. Riyan Parag was given the seventh over. First ball six, then a four and a single. You feel everything is fine but Shubhman Gill says he will also hit a six but gets out in the process. There I felt they (GT) are stuck but that did not happen.”
Hardik Pandya smashed an unbeaten 87 and strung together useful partnerships with Abhinav Manohar and David Miller to help the Gujarat Titans set a 193-run target for the Rajasthan Royals. The GT bowlers then restricted RR to a score of 155-9 to win the encounter by 37 runs.
Following the loss, the Royals dropped to third spot in the IPL 2022 standings with six points from five games. The Titans, on the other hand, claimed top spot with eight points from five outings.