Rajasthan Royals Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara has pointed out the areas where Ravichandran Ashwin can improve in the T20 format. He expressed that the spinners need to bowl off-spin more frequently.
The Rajasthan Royals lost to the Gujarat Titans in the finals of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season on Sunday. They failed to put up a big score batting first after winning the toss. The Gujarat Titans managed to chase down 131 runs comfortably with seven wickets to spare.
Following Rajasthan’s loss, Kumar Sangakkara spoke about the improvements that Ravichandran Ashwin needs to do. This season, the spinner has taken twelve wickets from seventeen matches, at an average of 41.91. He bowled quite a few carrom balls instead of off-spin.
“Ash (Ashwin), he’s done a great job for us. Even for Ash, being a legend in terms of what he has achieved on the cricketing pitch, there will be a lot of thinking and improvements to do, especially with his off-spin and bowling more of it,” stated Kumar Sangakkara.
The former cricketer also spoke about Rajasthan Royals’ batting performance. He highlighted that the team needed players to support Jos Buttler more in the batting order. Sangakkara said,
“If you take our batting, we had contributions from Jos (Buttler), Sanju (Samson), and Shimron Hetmyer in the early stages. Riyan (Parag) and Devdutt (Padikkal) played well in patches. In terms of overall performance, we need a little bit more from the support-role players.”
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Riyan Parag has got huge potential: Kumar Sangakkara
Rajasthan Royals youngster Riyan Parag could not perform consistently for the franchise in the Indian Premier League 2022 season. He averaged 16.64 in seventeen matches, with a strike rate of 138.63. Apart from the match-winning knock against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Riyan could not make much of an impact with the bat.
“Riyan has got huge potential. We’ve got to work him into a higher batting number by the time we come in next season. We need to groom him as an early middle-order player rather than a death hitter,” said Kumar Sangakkara.
The Rajasthan Royals director of cricket also spoke about playing XI. The side mostly stuck to the same bunch of players, making only a few changes throughout the tournament. When asked if overseas players, like James Neesham, could have been used better by the team, Sangakkara said,
“We managed to try most of those players – Daryl Mitchell a couple of games, Rassie (van der Dussen) and Neesh (James Neesham) also played a couple of games. But then, when you look at our bowling attack, with the four overseas combinations, once we have our two overseas bowlers, we could only fit in Jos and Hetty (Hetmyer) into the side.”
“We can’t play Neesh as a full fifth bowling option, he’ll have to be a sixth bowling option. When you take the quality of the players that we had, this was the best and strongest side that we put out,” he added.