Aakash Chopra has lauded the Rajasthan Royals (RR) for finally playing Shivam Dube in their XI, an inclusion the cricketer-turned-commentator was asking for a considerable while.
Dube smashed an unbeaten 64 off 42 deliveries as the Royals chased down the 190-run target set for them by the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Saturday night's Indian Premier League encounter. The win helped the Sanju Samson-led side overtake the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL 2021 points table and kept them in the race for a playoff berth.
While reflecting on Rajasthan Royals' win in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra highlighted that the inaugural IPL champions made a plethora of changes. He elaborated:
"Rajasthan made plenty of changes, they replaced everything in the house. Shivam Dube played, clap your hands. I was asking daily to play Shivam Dube and they played him. This time they played Mayank Markande as well. Akash Singh was played, Kartik Tyagi was not there - I am assuming he was injured."
The former KKR player was also appreciative of the Rajasthan Royals strengthening their batting with overseas professionals. Chopra observed:
"Chris Morris and Liam Livingstone dropped, so you dropped your two underperformers. You brought in Glenn Phillips and David Miller, so you kept three overseas batsmen in your batting. Well done, I like that."
Chris Morris and Liam Livingstone have been found wanting for the Rajasthan Royals in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. Although Glenn Phillips and David Miller did not have much to do in Saturday's encounter, their presence down the order might have allowed the top-order batsmen to play more freely.
Aakash Chopra on Yashasvi Jaiswal's defining knock for the Rajasthan Royals
While talking about the Rajasthan Royals run chase, Aakash Chopra spoke in glowing terms about Yashasvi Jaiswal taking the attack to the CSK bowlers. He explained:
"When you chase such a big total, you have to show the power play in the Powerplay. And here Yashasvi Jaiswal's destruction of the opposition was enjoyable, whether it was Josh Hazlewood, Sam Curran, Shardul or whoever you bowl. He totally destroyed them."
The former India opener added that Jaiswal's onslaught had almost sealed the match in the Rajasthan Royals' favor by the end of the powerplay overs. Chopra said:
"Everyone had come prepared for Evin Lewis and he came as an out of the syllabus question. He was sensational, that was the turning point of the game because if you score 81 runs in the powerplay, even the 190-run target becomes small."
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Jaiswal's 50 came off just 21 deliveries and was studded with six fours and three maximums. The knock helped the Rajasthan Royals score 81 runs in the first six overs and eased the task of the incoming batsmen.