Former India bowler, Ashish Nehra laments Rishabh Pant’s decision to not complete Ravichandran Ashwin’s quota of 4 overs in the loss to Rajasthan Royals on Thursday. The Royals chased down 148 in the last over, and the Delhi skipper is receiving flak for not bowling out his ace off-spinner.
Ashwin bowled the 7th, 9th, and 11th over, giving away just 14 runs without conceding a single boundary. However, to everyone’s surprise, Marcus Stoinis was called up to bowl the 13th over – he ended up conceding 15 runs which proved to be the turning point of the Royals’ chase.
Ashish Nehra opines that Pant should have continued with the off-spinner instead of the Australian – the 14th over as well was handed to Tom Curran who leaked 12 more runs – when two left-handers in David Miller and Rahul Tewatia were at the crease.
“Ravichandran Ashwin bowled just three overs. In the chase of 148-run target, there was a phase when Rajasthan Royals had lost 5 top-order batters and two left-handers – David Miller and Rahul Tewatia – were at the crease. You could have used Ashwin then,” Ashish Nehra said while speaking with Cricbuzz.
If it was Riyan Parag or Sanju Samson at the crease, that’s a completely different thing: Ashish Nehra
The 41-year-old former seamer reckons even later when Tewatia got out, Pant should have asked Ashwin to bowl, and the experienced spinner could have dismissed any of the batters, tilting the game back in favor of the Capitals; but that didn’t happen.
“When Tewatia got out and Miller and Morris paired up, then you had the choice to deploy Ashwin. Royals were six down then and had Ashwin taken another on at that point of time, DC would have won the game there itself,” he added.
The cricketer-turned-commentator opines that the move would have been explicable had the right-handers, Riyan Parag or Sanju Samson, were at the crease. But it was two lefties, Miller and Tewatia, hence, Nehra believes, Ashwin should have bowled his 4th over. Delhi faces KL Rahul’s Punjab Kings on Sunday.
“So Rather than handing one over to Marcus Stoinis, under such circumstances, I would have preferred to go with Ashwin. If it was Riyan Parag or Sanju Samson at the crease with an asking rate was 9-10 runs per over and you didn’t give an over to Ravi Ashwin thinking that he might get hit for 2-3 sixes, that’s a completely different thing. Before handing an over Stoinis, Ashwin should have completed his 4-over spell,” the 2011 World Cup winner believed.