Ravichandran Ashwin, Royals use evolving T20 tactic successfully in IPL 2022

The successful tactic used by the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League on Sunday has won praise and could become a regular fixture in 20-over cricket prior to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later this year.

The Royals elevated India all-rounder Ravi Ashwin up their batting order, but then decided to retire him out during the penultimate over as they chased quick runs in their match against the Lucknow Super Giants in Wankhede.

The tactic saw Riyan Parag come to the crease with 10 balls remaining to replace Ashwin and he helped the Royals post a winning score of 165/6 from their 20 overs.

The law states that retired batters can only resume their innings later in the innings due to injury or illness, unless there is consent from the opposing captain.

Law 25.4.3 states, in part: “If a batter retires for any reason other than (injury or illness) … the innings of that batter may be resumed only with the consent of the opposing captain. If for any reason his/her innings is not resumed, that batter is to be recorded as ‘Retired – out’.”

Royals coach Kumar Sangakkara praised Ashwin for his role in the victory and the sacrifice he made for his team by retiring his innings in the 19th over.

“Ashwin himself was asking from the field as well, and we had discussed it just before that, as to what we would do,” Sangakkara said.

“I thought the way Ashwin handled that situation, walking in (in the 10th over) under pressure, the way he batted to support the team. And then finally, (he) sacrificed himself in terms of being retired out, (which) was just magnificent.

“And then he went out in the field and backed it up with an excellent, excellent bowling effort.”

Commentators across the world also praised the move, with many believing it will become a regular occurrence in 20-over cricket by the time the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup commences in Australia in October.

The tactic was also successfully used by the Sydney Sixers during the final of Australia’s Big Bash League earlier this year.

On that occasion the Sixers decided to retire injured batter Jordan Silk with two runs required from the final delivery as Jay Lenton came to the crease to help scramble the winning runs.