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Watson reckons he ‘would have thrown the ball to Boult’ in final over against GT

Jaipur : Shane Watson, the former Australia fast-bowling all-rounder, reckons if he was in the Rajasthan Royals camp, he would have given the final over to left-arm pacer Trent Boult.

RR made an imposing 196/3, thanks to fifties from Riyan Parag and captain Sanju Samson. In the defence, after Kuldeep Sen gave away 20 runs in the 19th over, RR had to defend 15 runs off the final over.

Boult had taken 2/8 in his two power-play overs and doesn’t have a great record of bowling in death overs. It’s why RR chose to bowl the final over with their designated death overs bowler Avesh Khan. But GT eventually chased down the total on the last ball to win by three wickets, giving RR their first defeat of the competition.

“I would have definitely thrown him the ball. But one thing you got to understand, Trent Boult outside of the powerplay throughout this IPL, is going at 14 runs an over. He’s leaked a lot of runs when he’s had the chance to bowl outside of the powerplay.

“I can see why Sanju Samson would be a bit gun-shy when it comes to bringing him to bowl but when it comes down to a situation like that, game is on the line, you need your best decision-makers, under pressure, to be able to step up.

“That would have been a team decision tactically of not exposing Trent Boult to that moment and time. But in hindsight, you go with your most experienced player because he has more chances of being clear,” said Watson on JioCinema, the official streaming partner of IPL 2024.

Captain Shubman Gill had set up the chase for the Titans’ with his 72 off 44 balls. But after he fell, RR had become the favourites to get the win. But Rashid Khan came out to bat, with 40 runs needed off 15 balls and slammed an unbeaten 24 off 11 balls, with Rahul Tewatia chipping in via 22, to seal a three-wicket win coming on the last ball.

“He is just a true competitor. There’s not a moment in a game that goes by without him fully competing or fully engaged. Even if he’s slightly off his best with the ball, which he was in the first couple of games, it was never going to be too long before he made his mark on this TATA IPL again.”

“He’s done it so many times throughout his career and he’s still relatively young as well. There’s going to be many more occasions because when the true competitors get up for every moment, they’ll always have the opportunity to assert their dominance over a game or a tournament,” added Watson.

Gill’s performance with the bat came under praise from Eoin Morgan, England’s 2019 ODI World Cup winning captain. “He is a classy operator. It felt like he would have to win the game on his own. They were losing wickets at very regular intervals, his opening partner was out.”

“But some of the shots he played, applying pressure, almost risk-free, at no stage did he look reckless until he got out. He’s just one of the best players in the country at the moment and can manage that ability to score around the ground, exceptionally well.”

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