‘No.10 batter opening’: Ex-India cricketers' scathing attack on RR's Tanush Kotian move; Sanju Samson explains | Crickit

‘No.10 batter opening’: Ex-India cricketers' scathing attack on RR's Tanush Kotian move; Sanju Samson explains

Apr 14, 2024 06:11 AM IST

Former India cricketers Robin Uthappa and Zaheer Khan were left dumbfounded by RR's move to send off-spinner Tanush Kotian as an opener against PBKS.

Tanush Kotian scored four half-centuries and a century in this Ranji season. All of them batting No.8 or below. 120* and 89* - his top two scores came when he batted at No.10. Kotian his great promise with the bat. His first-class average of 42 is the biggest proof. But he is an off-spinner first. Mumbai treats him as a bowling all-rounder. His IPL franchise, Rajasthan Royals, however, thought otherwise.

Rajasthan Royals' captain Sanju Samson, right, and Avesh Khan(AP)
Rajasthan Royals' captain Sanju Samson, right, and Avesh Khan(AP)

Kotian didn't get to bowl a single over in his IPL debut against the Punjab Kings in Mullanpur but was sent to open the batting with Yashasvi Jaiswal. RR were missing the services of Jos Buttler and Ravichandran Ashwin due to which they brought Kotian and Rovman Powell into the XI. But little did anyone know that Buttler's replacement at the top of the order would be Kotian.

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The move left former India batter Robin Uthappa dumbfounded. "They have to a lot of lessons from this game. They do this to themselves every season. They are a solid side. They don't need to do anything silly and they will end up at the top of the table. But somehow, they do something like this every season with just befuddled everyone. I was dumbfounded in the commentary box when I saw Tanush Kotiyan walking out to open the batting. What's the logic? Putting a kid who is playing his first match in the IPL in a situation that he has never been in," Uthappa said on Jio Cinema.

The move didn't go according to plan for RR. Kotian played the slowest knock by a batter who has batted more than 25 balls this season. The right-hander scored 24 off 31 balls at a strike rate of 77 with just three boundaries. That didn't allow RR to get off to a good start and the pressure started mounting.

"They showed exactly what not to do in a run chase. They sent a No.10 batter to open the innings. He was playing his first game. this surely could have cost them two points. It was not a chase where a Shimron Hetmyer-like knock was required. It should have been more clinical. But in the end, they got the two points. They are sitting at the top. They are a very good team only decisions like these could cost them games and points. You saw the tension in the dugout. This game should give them a lot of learning," said former India pacer Zaheer Khan.

Samson explains why Tanush Kotian opened the batting

So why did RR send Kotian as an opener? "He came in as an all-rounder. Had a fabulous Ranji Trophy season. He has been impressing everyone in the nets. We had a proper settled batting order, so we did not want to unsettle it. Jos is almost ready for the next game and we wanted to try him (Kotian) up the order," said RR captain Sanju Samson in the post-match presentation.

Thanks to Shimron Hetmyer, the disastrous move, didn't cost RR the game. The left-hander smashed an unbeaten 27 off just 10 balls to ensure a three-wicket win for RR.

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