Rajasthan Royals Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara, feels Ravichandran Aswhin handled the match situation really well by ‘retiring out’ at the right time but the Sri Lankan great conceded that he erred in not sending Riyan Parag ahead of Rassie van der Dussen.
The Royals became the first team in IPL history to employ the ‘retired out’ tactic as Ashwin went back to the dug out despite being 28 not out during their game against LSG on Sunday.
“It was the right time to do that," Sangakkara said at the post-match press conference.
“Ashwin himself was asking from the field as well and we had discussed just before that as to what we would do."
South African van der Dussen, who was playing his first match of the season, was sent at number four ahead of Shmiron Hetmyer, Ravichandran Ashwin and the out-of-form Parag.
However, he was dismissed cheaply for four, while Parag hit a crucial six in the last over to help RR get closer to the 170-run mark.
“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."
With LSG requiring 15 runs off the last over, pacer Kuldeep Sen performed tremendously under pressure and the Sri Lankan legend was all praise for the rookie.
“I had no conversation with Kuldeep before the last over. It was Sanju, Jos and the other players around him that supported him. We had pretty simple plans in terms of bowling at the death.
“I just want to say how impressed everyone, especially I am with how Kuldeep Sen handled his first game; how he bowled, how he thinks… He bowled the hardest over under pressure and did an excellent job for us."
‘We believe Stoinis can win us games’
Lucknow Super Giants were able to stay in the match until the last over despite their top order fizzling out with Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who came number eight, smashing 28 off 12 in his first outing for the team.
“Through out the 20 overs, we kept believing we could win this game," said skipper KL Rahul said.
“We have depth in our batting, today Stoinis batted at No.8, when you have someone like that with so much power and who is such a destructive batsman… that’s one of the reasons he’s our second retained player (draft pick)."
Rahul is confident that Stoinis, a proven match-winner for his previous franchise Delhi Capitals, can do the same for LSG.
“We believe Stoinis can win us games from any position, we had that belief through and through."