Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson has said that Ravichandran Ashwin’s decision to ‘retire out’ — which caught everyone, including some of his team-mates, by surprise — was not something out of the blue, and that it had been under discussion in the side before the start of IPL 2022.
Whether it had been planned by Ashwin or not, but after pushing Lucknow Super Giants’ (LSG) Avesh Khan to cover for a single, he kept running after completing the run and stopped only after reaching the dressing room. The fact that Riyan Parag walked out to bat straightaway meant the team was expecting such a move from Ashwin.
Ashwin’s batting partner at that time, Shimron Hetmyer struck Khan for sixes of successive deliveries and Parag too struck a big six before getting out, going for another big one off the penultimate delivery of the match to boost RR’s score to 165 for six. The winners of the inaugural IPL edition then restricted LSG to 162/8 for a narrow three-run win.
Samson conceded that RR were trying out different strategies in the current edition of the IPL.
“It’s about being Rajasthan Royals. We keep trying different things. Have been talking about it before the season. We thought that if some situation occurs, we can use it. Was a team decision,” Samson said.
However, West Indies’ Shimron Hetmyer had said after the match that he had no idea about the ‘retired out’ strategy. “I had no idea about it! He (Ashwin) was also a bit tired. It was a good decision, as the kid (Parag) hit a six for us.”
Rajasthan’s director of cricket, Kumar Sangakkara too has praised Ashwin’s decision to sacrifice his wicket.
“It was the right time to do that. Ashwin himself was asking from the field as well and we had discussed just before that as to what we would do. As the coach I got one call wrong not sending Riyan Parag ahead of Rassie van der Dussen and holding Rassie back.
“so we couldn’t get the full benefit of Riyan, but how Ashwin handled that situation, walking in under pressure, he batted, supported the team and then finally sacrificed himself in terms of retiring himself out and then backed it up with a magnificent bowling effort,” said Sangakkara.