Sanjay Manjrekar has slammed the move of Rajasthan Royals to send Ravichandran Ashwin to bat at No. 3 saying it was a very bizarre tactic from the side. He further added that there was no need to execute such a strange move and sending Sanju Samson would have been the better option for franchise.
Rajasthan Royals have been a strong outfit in IPL 2022 winning three matches from five and are placed third in the points table. The team have a strong bowling unit and a brilliant top-order. However, the team lost to Gujarat Titans by 37 runs while chasing a huge target of 193 in their last game.
RR bowled first and the opposition scored 192/4 courtesy of unbeaten 87 runs from Hardik Pandya. Chasing the target, RR lost Devdutt Padikkal in the second over of the innings and they sent Ravichandran Ashwin to bat at No. 3 to everyone’s surprise. The move didn’t work very well for the team as Ashwin was sent back to pavilion on a score of 8. Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar feels that there was no need to pull off such a surprise and it was a bizarre tactic.
"Especially when Sanju Samson is the next guy in, you did not like him at No.4, but then you had Yashasvi Jaiswal, but you dropped him. You had the option of sending Samson at No.3 with Buttler going in the way he was. I can understand something out of the box, pinch-hitter when there are two steady batters. But Buttler was going hell for leather, but then you send in Ashwin. It was a bizarre move. I think Ashwin was sent as a pinch-hitter but there was no need of it because you do that when the score is 215-220 and you slightly doubt your ability to score that quickly so you need someone out there to set the cat among the pigeons," Manjrekar said on ESPNcricinfo's 'T20 Time Out'.
Jos Buttler was playing with an aggressive intent from the starting ball of the innings. He smashed 54 runs from just 24 balls at a massive strike rate of 225. Manjrekar is of the opinion that the move might have sent a message to the opposition that they are insecure about the score.
"But with Buttler, the way he started, there was no need for it and you also send a message to the opposition that you are slightly insecure about the score that we have to try something dramatically different plus the fact that a wicket that falls, there something psychological to it. I think it was a ridiculous move," he stated.
RR will play their next game against Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday.