Delhi Capitals (DC) off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has opened up on the dramatic last over against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Qualifier 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Ashwin admitted that, with KKR needing six to win off two balls, he thought DC had won the game.
The 35-year-old dismissed Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine off consecutive deliveries in the last over. However, Rahul Tripathi spanked the penultimate ball of the match for a six to seal victory for KKR.
In a video interaction on his YouTube channel, Ashwin revealed that he felt Tripathi would jump down the track, which is why he bowled a good length delivery wide outside off. However, the KKR batter stayed in his crease and smashed the ball over the ropes.
“The first four balls, I didn't think much and it worked. And, before the fifth ball, I thought 'Aaha we have won! (Smiles)'. Then I thought about short boundaries, the dew and also predicted that he would jump down the track, which is why I bowled it slightly short. Tripathi has never hit me for a four in the past. Unfortunately for us, it came at the wrong time,” Ashwin lamented about the last over.
DC had set KKR 136 to win Qualifier 2 in Sharjah. The chasing team were cruising at 123 for 1 at one stage. However, a spectacular batting collapse saw them stumble to 130 for 7. Thankfully for KKR, Tripathi maintained his calm and put the franchise in the IPL 2021 final with a glory stroke.
“Ashwin the T20 bowler not a great force in any team” - Sanjay Manjrekar
Following DC’s last-over defeat to KKR in Qualifier 2, former Indian batter Sanjay Manjrekar opined that Ashwin is no longer a force to reckon with in the T20 format.
Sharing his views during an interaction on ESPNCricinfo, Manjrekar said:
“We have spent far too much talking about Ashwin. Ashwin the T20 bowler is not a great force in any team. And if you want Ashwin to change, I don’t think that’s going to happen because he’s been like this for the last 5-7 years. I can understand us dwelling on Ashwin in Test matches where he’s fantastic. Him not playing a single Test match in England was a travesty. But to spend so much time on Ashwin when it comes to IPL and T20 cricket...”
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Ashwin had a forgettable IPL 2021 campaign, claiming only seven wickets in 13 matches at a strike rate of 38.28 and an economy of 7.41. He was a surprise selection in the Indian squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup.