Ashwin’s biggest strength has always been his variations and how cleverly he uses them to outthink batsmen. On a good batting track in Bangalore, Ashwin pulled almost all his tricks out of the bag and kept RCB batsmen guessing.
Ravichandran Ashwin delivered one of the best spells of his T20 career against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at Chinnaswamy Stadium, on Wednesday. 4-0-15-1 are exceptional figures in any T20 match, but to do it when AB de Villiers was going all guns blazing at one of his favourite grounds, was a superman effort, and Ashwin deserves a lot of praise for it.
Ashwin’s biggest strength has always been his variations and how cleverly he uses them to outthink batsmen. On a good batting track in Bangalore, Ashwin pulled almost all his tricks out of the bag and kept RCB batsmen guessing. It was a ‘finger spin’ master class at the Chinnaswamy stadium as Ashwin bowled leg-breaks, carrom balls, the arm ball, and his new variation "reverse carrom”.
RCB posted a huge score of 202 runs and 15 boundaries and 12 sixes were smashed in the innings by the RCB batsmen. But Ravichandran Ashwin bowled 24 balls without conceding even a single boundary. It would be fair to say that the Tamil Nadu spinner turned the clock back with his variations and sent out a very strong message to the selectors that his limited-overs career is still not over and he will not go down without a fight.
Chinnaswamy is always a big challenge for visiting teams in IPL because it is always a full house and RCB fans leave no stone unturned to support their team from the stands. On Wednesday, when AB de Villiers was smashing sixes at will and making a mockery of King XI Punjab’s bowling attack, the huge army of RCB fans in the stadium was right behind him and chanting “ABD… ABD… ABD”. But amid that noise and extravaganza, we witnessed one of the best spells of IPL 2019.
Here are four reasons why Ravichandran Ashwin’s spell was the highlight of the game.
1. No boundary conceded in 4 overs
A total of 27 4s and 6s were smashed in the match but Ashwin, in his 4 overs, didn’t even conceded a single boundary. In T20 cricket, finishing a spell without giving a boundary is as big as smashing 5 sixes in an innings.
2. 3.75 runs per over
RCB smashed 204 runs in their 20 overs. This means, on an average, more than 10 runs were scored in every over bowled by KXIP. In such a high scoring match, Ashwin gave away just 3.75 runs per over. It is not that first time that a bowler has such figures in a T20 game, in fact, many bowlers have done better than this in IPL 2019 alone. But in context of the game and the kind of hitter he was up against, Ashwin delivered one of the best bowling performances of IPL 2019.
3. 7 runs off 9 balls against AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers smashed 82 runs at a strike rate of 186 but against Ashwin, he couldn’t even score run a ball. The KXIP skipper kept him in check with a clever mix of variations, from the carrom ball to leg spinners. De Villiers tried to go after him but Ashwin outfoxed him and won the most exciting individual battle of the game, convincingly.
4. RCB’s spinners didn’t even complete their quota
It wasn’t an easy wicket to bowl for the spinners because the other 3 spinners who bowled in the match, went for 101 in their 11 overs combined, picking up two wickets. RCB’s spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (2), Moeen Ali (3) and Washington Sundar (2) bowled just 7 overs and gave away 70 runs. Ashwin’s spin partner M Ashwin wasn’t that expensive but he also conceded 31 runs in his 4 overs and took 1 wicket.
This further proves that Ravichandran Ashwin’s figures stood out in stark contrast to the other spinners, and it was a spell to remember.
Last Updated 7:43 PM IST