R Ashwin was a happy man after Kings XI Punjab won their 5th match of the 2019 Indian Premier League and moved to 4th spot in the points table on Tuesday. KXIP defeated Rajasthan Royals by 12 runs and now have 10 points from 9 matches this season.
R Ashwin led from the front with bat and ball. He first a quick unbeaten 17 before picking up 2 for 24 off 4 overs to ensure the RR chase never really got any momentum. He won the man-of-the-match award for his efforts and showed he is still a force to reckon with in the shorter formats.
KXIP had got off to a strong start in the 2018 Indian Premier League but had lost their way in the business end of the league. This year, they have been consistent and others like Sam Curran, Mohammed Shami, Mayank Agarwal, the captain himself have chipped in with significant contributions after the brilliance of KL Rahul and Chris Gayle.
R Ashwin said it was important for KXIP to get into the 10-point category. As of now, KXIP, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals have 10 points while Chennai Super Kings have 14 points. But CSK. DC and MI have played 8 matches while KXIP have played 9.
Kolkata Knight Riders (8 points from 8 matches) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (6 points from 7 matches) also have realistic chances of making it to the playoffs while time is running out for Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
In a tight situation like this, R Ashwin was happy to get into double digits in the points column.
“It was very important for us ot get into the 10-point category. The race is heating up. Everyone is on 8 points. It’s important to catch the momentum right now,” R Ashwin told the broadcasters after the match.
R Ashwin was not considered for the World Cup as India have recently focused on bolstering their bowling attack with wrist spinners. But he has been in top form this season of IPL and Ashwin said he believes reinventing is the name of the game for spinners.
“A spinner is someone who reinvents the wheel all the time. For me it’s about hitting various lengths at different speeds. The undercutter, the reverse carrom. I live by the sword and die by it, plenty of people say I try too much, but it’s good that I’m keeping on experimenting,” he said.