The Wonderful Bowling Partnership Of Yuzvendra Chahal & R Ashwin
Rajasthan Royals have brilliantly used R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal in the IPL 2022 so far.
Rajasthan Royals have won four out of six games they have played so far in the IPL 2022. Royals have been terrific with both bat as well as the bowl which also reflects on the leaderboard of the tournament where Jos Buttler is the orange cap holder and Yuzvendra Chahal wears the purple cap.
One of the most key parts of Royals' IPL 2022 has been them picking Chahal in the Auction after they had bought R Ashwin. One is a leg-spinner and the other is an off-spinner - both world-class experienced Indians. While Chahal is the lead spinner in the limited-overs cricket for India, Ashwin leads the test bowling charts.
Ashwin is an aggressive Test match bowler but when it comes to T20, he becomes defensive. Being defensive isn't a bad thing in T20 cricket, especially for an off-spinner since batters try to hit this type of bowling the most.
Ashwin's ability to give control in the middle overs was the reason why Royals went for him in the auction. He isn't a wicket-taking option on most days in the T20s and the teams needed an aggressive spinner to partner him during the middle overs else it would have been a one-dimensional spin attack and the onus would have been on pacers to pick wickets.
For his partner, Royals were lucky to get the final bid on Chahal - the perfect partner to compliment Ashwin - an aggressive wicket-taking option.
In the first six matches, RR's strategy has worked wonders. The duo has done the exact job they were expected to do where Ashwin has given control, and Chahal has picked wickets.
Ashwin has an economy of 7.54 in 24 overs he has bowled so far. Ashwin has bowled quicker through the air and tried to keep the wicket-to-wicket line so that batters don't have enough room to hit.
Another interesting thing that Ashwin has been doing is not bowl many variations until he is absolutely sure of the situation and the condition. Mostly, Ashwin has bowled a carrom ball when a new batter is at the crease or the wicket is gripping. He hasn't overdone the carrom either even on helping wickets.
This has resulted in Chahal being given the liberty to flight the ball and bowl fuller lengths. He has varied his pace, line, and lengths according to the match situation and went for the wickets.
How the Royals have used these is also interesting.
On most occasions, both Ashwin and Chahal have bowled in tandems. When one comes on to bowl, the other has his over lined up next.
Another evidence for Ashwin being the defensive bowler and Chahal the aggressor is the former's overs get finished before the 16th over; only on one occasion was he bowled in the 17th over. On the other hand, at least one Chahal over is kept for the slog overs - in the 16th, 17th, and 18th over - the leg-spinner has picked 11 wickets at an economy of 6.29.
The ploy has been working for Rajasthan Royals so far as the two spinners have combined to pick 19 wickets in 48 overs at an economy of 7.44. Chahal has picked 17 wickets at an economy of 7.33 while Ashwin has got two wickets at an economy of 7.54.
A very similar economy rate but Chahal's been doing his wicket-taking job while Ashwin is setting things up for him.