Rajasthan Royals off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had a victorious return to his ‘home ground’ of MA Chidambaram Stadium against Rajasthan Royals in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match on Wednesday. Ashwin scored crucial 30 runs with the bat and picked up 2/25 with the ball as well as the Royals stunned MS Dhoni’s CSK by three runs to move to the top of the points table.
Although it was a memorable outing for Ashwin and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who claimed 2/27, with the ball, the Tamil Nadu offie wasn’t pleased by the umpire’s decision to change the ball due to dew at Chepauk. Ashwin said he had never before seen the umpires changing the ball because of excessive dew in Chennai.
“I’m quite surprised the umpires changed the ball for dew on their own. It’s never happened before and I’m quite surprised. Some of the decisions in this year’s IPL on the field have left me a little flummoxed to be honest,” Ashwin said at the post-match press conference.
“I mean, (it) left me flummoxed in a good or a bad way. It’s because I think what you need is a little bit of balance,” said Ashwin, who was adjudged ‘Player of the Match’ for his all-round show. “As a bowling team, we are not asking for the ball to be changed. But the ball was changed on the umpires’ accord. I did ask the umpire and he said we can change it.
“So I just hope every time there is dew they can change it every single time going forward in this IPL that sort of, you can do whatever you want, but you just need to be in a standard going forward,” he added.
About his bowling in Wednesday’s game, especially his dismissal of Shivam Dube, Ashwin said, “He (Dube) is a designated spin hitter for CSK. The way he played Kuldeep (Sen) the previous over, I knew he was going to come after me. I didn’t have any deliberate plans but I feel the ball is coming out really well, I’m able to get it to drop, I’m able to put enough revs, I’m able to use both my variations, my length and the arm ball at the moment is really good. I’m just happy the way it is coming out,” Ashwin explained.
Ashwin dismissed Dube for eight runs, much before the CSK all-rounder could settle down. Ashwin, who was pushed up the order after Royals lost a couple of wickets quickly, said the pitch was offering turn and they had to bide their time as the scoring rate slowed down after a brisk start before the team finished at 175 for 8 in 20. overs.
“I felt like I was playing in a Test match when he (Jadeja) was bowling. It was just raging a few balls, these are the things we are going to encounter with different teams in different home grounds. I just felt it was perfect for a left-arm spinner to hit that spot at side spin, good speed. Jadeja was unplayable for those 2-3 overs, the ball was spinning from outside leg stump sometimes. We had to bide our time and try and pick our matchups,” Ashwin said.
(with PTI inputs)