Ravichandran Ashwin IPL 2024.
Ravichandran Ashwin IPL 2024. Image Credit: X

The Rajasthan Royals (RR) knocked out the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) in the 17th season of the Indian Premier League. Veteran bowler Ravichandran Ashwin bagged the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his figures of 2/19 in four overs, behind their four-wicket win.

Ravichandran Ashwin used all his experiences and variations to make life so hard for the batters to score runs against him. The RCB side could manage only 172/8 in the allotted 20 overs after put into bat first. But the Royals, even after being so much scared in the batting department, managed to get over the line thanks to Shimron Hetmyer and Rovman Powell.

‘I felt my body wasn’t moving too well for the first half of the season’ – Ravichandran Ashwin

The experienced off-spinner picked up the two crucial wickets of Cameron Green and Glenn Maxwell to put RCB under so much pressure in the middle overs. Green found Rovman Powell, in an aim to go for the big shot, while Maxwell had a brain fade on the very first delivery.

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“We haven’t done very well in the last few games. We didn’t put par scores and we lost (Jos) Buttler, and (Shimron) Hetmyer was injured. Today’s win was important,” Ashwin said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

He felt that the Royals were a bit rusty in chasing the target, as they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals to back RCB in every phase of the game. The India legendary off-spinner spoke about how tough it becomes to shift format from Test to T20.

“In the first half, I felt my body wasn’t moving too well for the first half of the season. I had an abdomen injury and I am ageing as well,” Ravichandran Ashwin expressed at the end of the game. “To come into the tournament from Test cricket was difficult, I needed some time to get that bowling rhythm. But once you have committed to your franchise, you want to go through with the season.”

Ravichandran Ashwin now has picked up nine wickets in 13 innings at an economy of 8.31, with figures of 3/24 in four overs, during this Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

The bowler also applauds the left-arm swing bowler, Trent Boult, who gave a great hand to him in the bowling department. Boult ended with 1/16 in his four overs. Ravichandran Ashwin feels that Boult has hit the right line and length to get full help off the surface.

“I think we hit the right lengths, the way Boult was bowling, he got a bit of swing and seam movement,” Ashwin remarked. “In the second innings, I don’t think there was a lot of dew. I think there were some exceptional shots from our boys to get that chase.”

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The off-spinner ended up saying that the right mixture of both young and experienced players have made the franchises such a special one.

‘I think our greatest strength is the exuberance of youth and the experience we have got to support that. Now that Hettie is back in, and Rovman got a few boundaries today as well,” Ashwin mentioned to finish the chat. “We’ve got Keshav sitting outside. We have the right momentum for this team going forward.”

Rajasthan Royals (RR) will now take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the second qualifier of the IPL 2024, on May 24, 2024, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai.