Defending a modest 149, Rana fell victim to an RR opener Yashasvi Jaiswal‘s the onslaught as he crushed the part-time off-spinner for 26 runs with two sixes and three fours that set the tone for RR’s victory in just 13.1 overs here on Thursday.
“With a southpaw (Jaiswal) in the crease and he’s an offispinner, I don’t think it’s a bad option,” Venkatesh pointed out during the post-match media interaction. The decision looked confusing as KKR had an in-form spinner in Varun Chakravarthy (17 wickets), but Venkatesh said it was more about the games.
“We all know what he is capable of with the bowl. He picked some crucial wickets in his career. Unfortunately it didn’t go in our favor, if he had picked up the wicket (of Jaiswal) it would have been a masterstroke from a captain. These things happen on the pitch.”
Calling Rana an “incredible bowler”, Venkatesh elaborated on the controversial call.
“The wicket held a bit and was slower. We wanted to exploit the spin with the new ball.
“It didn’t work out, so the questions. But Rana is an amazing bowler, he came and picked wickets wherever he bowled with economic bowling. One game wouldn’t make him a bad bowler. “
Hailing RR’s field effort, Venkatesh further said that spectacular catches from Shimron Hetmyer and Sandeep Sharma brought them back.
As Hetmyer fired Jason Roy with a well-judged borderline square-leg run and jump hold, a Sharma dive took a mid-run blinder to end Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s quick start.
The opening duo were dismissed on successive overs by Trent Boult on the power play.
“Both were good shots and good catches. They easily saved about 20 runs on the field, which in T20 is incredible. Two wickets and two new batters on the field, which was not easy to beat, that’s where I think we slowed down.
“I would take responsibility for playing a lot of balls there. I should have rotated more, the phase belonged to Rajasthan,” Venkatesh said of his slow start.
“I felt Jaiswal hit a different wicket”
Young RR opener Jaiswal hit the fastest IPL fifty en route to his 98 not out (47b) on a tough wicket.
“The wicket hasn’t changed much. It’s just that Jaiswal hit incredibly. The way he played every ball, we had no answers for his onslaught,” Venkatesh said.
KKR vs RR IPL 2023 Highlights: Yashasvi Jaiswal powers Rajasthan Royals to victory
“We felt like he was hitting on a completely different track because no other hitter found it easy there, so thanks to him.
“It’s the variety of shots he hit, effective and always orthodox. There was only one reverse shot, the rest were all orthodox cricket shots. He’s a fit man, an incredible hitter,” Venkatesh added.