Ravichandran Ashwin is a legend in his own right, but he still needs to think about improving and bowling the conventional breakout deliveries more often, says Rajasthan Royals Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara. The 36-year-old veteran off-spinner, India’s second highest Test wicket taker (442), is known for experimenting a lot with his bowling. He often bowls the conventional off-breaks less compared to the carrom balls that go away from the right-handers.
“Ash (Ashwin) has done an amazing job for us,” Sangakkara said at the post-match press conference after RR lost by seven wickets to Gujarat Titans in the IPL final on Sunday.
“Even for Ash, who is a legend in terms of what he has accomplished on the cricket pitch, there will be a lot of improvement and thinking, especially with his off spinners and bowling more of them,” Sangakkara said of the team. oldest member, who managed just 12 wickets in 17 matches this season.
Also in the top game, the ace off spinner chose to bowl quite a few carrom balls instead of regulated off spin. He gave up 32 runs in three overs without claiming wickets, while defending a modest 130.
By batting first, RR was limited to 130/9, who was chased by GT in 18.1 overs and Sangakkara thought the score would never be enough.
“It was a tough one. 130 was never enough. We were doubting whether we should also put them in (bat) first. By the time we got to the ground we looked at the field, it was quite dry and we thought it would slow down and maybe provide a little twist for our spinners. So we expected to get about 160-165.” He said his team allowed the opposing bowlers to get into the game after a good start to the innings.
“We were really well placed in our at bats at 70/1 halfway through until Sanju (Samson) came out. And then they came and threw some nice overs and we let Gujarat back into the game.” “(With) 130 we need a bit of luck and some quick wickets in the power play. We got two but sadly not (Shubman) Gill in the first one and the run rate never got over seven.
“It was always going to be hard. It was hardly about calculations and math and just trying to get a few wickets and break those (David) Miller and Hardik (Pandya) and Gill partnerships, but we weren’t able to do,” he admitted.
Lots of improvements needed
Despite having a good season and finishing second, Sangakkara believed that the team needs to improve in many areas.
“Well, we still have a lot to improve in all areas. If you take our clout, we had huge contributions from Jos (Buttler), Sanju and Shimron Hetymer in the early stages.
“Riyan (Parag) and Devdutt (Padikkal) played really well in patches, but I think in terms of overall performance we need a little more of the supporting role players as well,” he said.
Speaking of Riyan Parag, the experienced goalkeeper batter backed the youngster to bolster Rajasthan’s middle class.
“I think Riyan Parag has a huge potential and we need to get him to a higher batting number by the time we come in next season. I’m looking forward to kind of training him to be some kind of early middle classer rather than just a death hitter.
“Because I think he’s so good in both spin and pace,” the Sri Lankan batter noted.
Sangakkara signed off by saying that this was the best and strongest 11 RR played with.
“…but if you look at the quality of the players we had, this was the best side and the strongest side (the one) we put on the park,” he said.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)