Rajasthan Royals (RR) off-spinner R Ashwin was over the moon after helping his franchise beat Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by 5 wickets in the 68th match of the ongoing IPL 2022 on Friday (May 20).
He delivered an outstanding all-round performance, first claiming 1/28 with the ball to help RR restrict CSK to 150, and then playing a crucial unbeaten knock of 40 runs off 23 balls to lead Rajasthan to a 5-wicket win over CSK and a place in the IPL 2022 playoffs.
Ashwin said after the match: “Feels like a million dollars. It was a special day for us. Finishing with a win and getting two bites of the cherry was important.”
The off-spinner added, “The communication (from the team management) was clear before the season on what I needed to work on (batting). The management had ensured my role was well defined; I opened in practice games. I was told I'll play in the powerplay but not at the death (laughs).”
On his bowling tricks in T20 cricket, the 35-year-old said: “In T20, you can't chase wickets. I have to make batters take risks. Sometimes they don't, and I'll have to bowl for the other end. I have understood the game well and am innovative.”
The 35-year-old further credited RR trainers and strength specialists for being able to hit three big sixes on Friday while revealing that his former franchise’s support staff have encouraged him to work on his physical fitness. He also opened up about his thoughts on playing for the new franchise.
Ashwin said: “I don't have enough power, credit has to go to Rajamani (Prabhu, Strength Specialist) and Zubin Bharucha. They've understood my nature and that I don't bat the same (in) every game. They've encouraged me and I've practiced a lot.”
He signed off by saying, “I want to play my A-game for all franchises I play for. It's a mark of respect. Glad we're in the playoffs.”
(With IANS Inputs)