IPL 2024: Zaheer, Uthappa slam RR’s move of opening with Tanush Kotian; Sanju Samson explains the reason

Tanush Kotian batted above no.8 for the first time in his T20 career.

Tanush Kotian batted above no.8 for the first time in his T20 career | IPL- BCCIFormer India cricketers Zaheer Khan and Robin Uthappa were baffled by Rajasthan Royals (RR) move to open with Tanush Kotian, who made his IPL debut, in a recent IPL 2024 match against Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Saturday, April 13.

Kotian replaced Adam Zampa in the RR squad after the Australia leggie pulled out of the IPL 2024. Kotian had scored four half-centuries and a century in the recent Ranji season for Mumbai. But he is treated as a primary off-spinner by his domestic team.

But RR decided to open with Kotian in their chase of 148 runs against RR and this decision confused everyone from the fans to the experts. Kotian didn't get to bowl a single over in his IPL debut against the Punjab Kings in Mullanpur.

He opened the batting and struggled against the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep Singh, and Sam Curran. He scored 24 runs in 31 balls with 3 fours, robbing RR of the flying starts they are used to in powerplay overs.

"They have to a lot of lessons from this game. They do this to themselves every season. They are a solid side. They don't need to do anything silly and they will end up at the top of the table. But somehow, they do something like this every season with just befuddled everyone. I was dumbfounded in the commentary box when I saw Tanush Kotiyan walking out to open the batting. What's the logic? Putting a kid who is playing his first match in the IPL in a situation that he has never been in," Uthappa said on Jio Cinema.

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Even Zaheer Khan stated that RR did exactly what not to do in a chase and sent a no.10 batter to open the innings.

"They showed exactly what not to do in a run chase. They sent a No.10 batter to open the innings. He was playing his first game. this surely could have cost them two points. It was not a chase where a Shimron Hetmyer-like knock was required. It should have been more clinical. But in the end, they got the two points. They are sitting at the top. They are a very good team only decisions like these could cost them games and points. You saw the tension in the dugout. This game should give them a lot of learning," said former India pacer Zaheer Khan.

However, in the post-match presentation, Sanju Samson justified RR’s move to send Kotian as an opener.

"He came in as an all-rounder. Had a fabulous Ranji Trophy season. He has been impressing everyone in the nets. We had a proper settled batting order, so we did not want to unsettle it. Jos is almost ready for the next game and we wanted to try him (Kotian) up the order," said RR captain Sanju Samson in the post-match presentation.

RR will next be in action against KKR on April 16 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.


By Jatin Sharma - 14 Apr, 2024

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