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Mohammad Kaif was taken aback by Ashwin’s performance against CSK

Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif praised Rajasthan Royals and India’s senior all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin after his exploits against the Chennai Super Kings in the 68th match of the IPL 2022. Ashwin’s all-around effort not only helped RR qualify for the playoffs but also place second in the points table, giving them an additional life in the playoff stage.

While Ravi Ashwin has had a solid season with the ball, collecting 11 wickets at an economy rate of 7.14, it is his batting that has had the most impact on the Rajasthan Royals, who had been a batter short in the lower order all season. This season, he’s been promoted up the order frequently, not only to test the new ball’s swing but also to bat like a true striker.

Ashwin was elevated to number five in the game against CSK, and he played a superb knock of 40* off just 23 balls to help his team cross the line in the final over. He was also ecstatic after helping the team win and move into the top two.

“Dear Ashwin, is there anything in cricket you can’t do? Master spinner, impact batsman, time to start bowling at 150 kph. You are a champion all-rounder. @ashwinravi99,” Kaif tweeted.

After CSK won the toss and chose to bat first, opener Ruturaj Gaikwad was out early. However, Moeen Ali and Devon Conway guided the side to a fantastic powerplay, with the former providing the majority of the fireworks with the bat. However, Conway’s presence in the pairing aided Moeen in hitting those big strokes. By scalping Conway, Ashwin broke the partnership and provided his team with a much-needed breakthrough.

RR’s elegant opener Jos Buttler had to leave early while chasing a goal of 151. But Yashasvi Jaiswal kept the ship afloat and guided his squad past the CSK outfit. Ashwin came out to bat in the middle overs and went on to hit some tremendous boundaries, including three massive sixes and a couple of fours. His undefeated 40*(23) helped the Royals win by five wickets, and Ashwin was named Player of the Match.

The Rajasthan Royals will now meet the Gujarat Titans in the first playoff qualifier. A win would guarantee them a spot in the season finale, whilst a loss would give them a chance to redeem themselves in the second eliminator and aim for the finale.