Former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has reckoned that Rajasthan Royals (RR) are the best franchise who have made use of India all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin to the fullest in the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.
In the most exciting IPL season, R Ashwin has delivered with the bat, as well as with the ball, for the Jaipur-based franchise. It was Ashwin’s debut season for the Royals and the Tamil Nadu cricketer proved his mettle with his all-round abilities.
Speaking on ‘Cricket Live’ on Star Sports, Harbhajan Singh said: “Rajasthan Royals should be credited for showing faith in Ashwin’s all-round abilities and this is the best franchise to have ever made full use of R Ashwin. No franchise has ever utilised Ashwin’s batting talent before but this team has promoted him up in the batting order and he’s won them a match with the bat.”
“They have understood the true potential of R Ashwin and full credit to Ashwin for reposing the faith of the franchise as well,” he added.
Harbhajan, however, believes RR’s batting mainstay Jos Buttler, who’s been a force to reckon with in the tournament, seems to have peaked early and that is why the runs have dried up from English swashbuckler’s bat.
The off-spinner, however, opined the explosive opener should go back to his basics in order to regain his form and come back strongly in the Qualifiers.
Speaking on Cricket Live on Star Sports, Harbhajan Singh said: “Jos Buttler will have to adjust to the pitches in Kolkata. The pitches in Maharashtra have slowed down as the tournament reached its business end but the Eden Gardens track will be fresh, so not just Buttler, every batter will have to make that necessary adjustment. Coming to Buttler, I feel that he seems to have peaked very early and that is a reason why runs are not flowing through his bat in the latter part of the tournament. He’s a great player and he’ll have to go back to his basics to regain his form.”
Meanwhile, former England cricketer Graeme Swann predicted his favourite team for the Qualifier 1 between Rajasthan and Gujarat on May 24 at iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Speaking on Cricket Live on Star Sports, Graeme Swann said, “Rajasthan Royals will win that first game (Qualifier 1) against Gujarat Titans. I honestly think first and second i.e. Gujarat and Rajasthan are the two best sides in this season and they could end up facing each other in that final.”