IPL 2024: Avesh has shown how good he has been throughout the tournament, says Sangakkara

by IANS |

Chennai, May 25 (IANS) Kumar Sangakkara, the director of cricket at Rajasthan Royals, had words of praise for India fast-bowler Avesh Khan coming good for the side in his first season with them in IPL 2024.

Before the start of the season, Avesh was traded to RR from Lucknow Super Giants and he stepped up in the absence of Prasidh Krishna and Navdeep Saini to claim 19 wickets from 16 matches at an average of 27.68 and economy rate of 9.59.

Avesh also landed a spot in the traveling reserves for India in the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA from June 1. In Qualifier 2, Avesh was spot-on in his execution of yorkers and slower balls to pick 3-27 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai, though it went in vain as RR lost by 36 runs.

"First of all it was a really good trade we did. We had the opportunity to trade DDP (Devdutt Padikkal to LSG). Padikkal was a great servant of RR. He did a great job for us but we needed a fast bowler and we traded for Avesh because we knew how good he was and he's shown that throughout this tournament.”

"And that's why he's a travelling reserve as well for the World Cup for India. He's got a great presence and good clarity, he's very good at finishing off in the death. And I think he's been phenomenal for RR. And we couldn't ask for a better trier. He bowls a lot in training, he's always up for a game. I thought again he was outstanding," said Sangakkara in the post-match press conference.

Coming to their season-ending defeat in Qualifier 2, Sangakkara admitted that not having opener Jos Buttler was a huge loss but wished for others to step up in his absence in the business end of the tournament.

In place of Buttler, who went back home to play in England’s T20Is against Pakistan with an eye to prepare for Men’s T20 World Cup, his country-mate Tom Kohler-Cadmore opened the batting alongside Yashasvi Jaiswal, but failed to get going.

"We always say that the best ability is availability and unfortunately, we lost Jos. He is a big loss, without a doubt. When you're in playoffs like this and you've got that start without Jos, we expect the other batters to also step up. All of us wanted to get over 45 runs in that powerplay minimum and we got 51."

"TKC couldn't really get going but Jaiswal made up for it in that Bhuvi over. Once you hit 51, it's just a case of batting and batting, and once you don't lose wickets, the pressure is always on the opposition - whether you've to chase 12 runs an over in the last five with wickets in hand, it is not difficult to do as we saw.”

“It was just a case of being smart and keeping our composure. Unfortunately, when you lose wickets in clusters, it becomes hard. Even in the RCB chase, if you lose wickets, it gets tense and close. Unfortunately, we needed a little bit more from our middle order," he elaborated.

Sangakkara signed off by saying experiences gained along the way will keep RR’s young and experienced players in good frame of mind for future challenges. "I think looking back at the season it was wonderful to see Riyan (Parag) and Sanju the way they batted and the way they held this side together.”

“Yashasvi Jaiswal on and off, Dhruv Jurel, I think he's going to be phenomenal in every format that he plays. Then of course (Ravichandran) Ashwin, what he did for us, (Yuzvendra) Chahal, (Trent) Boult was absolutely outstanding right throughout he was phenomenal, Sandeep Sharma, Avesh Khan, the list goes on.”

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