Ashwin recalls 'battle' against Sri Lanka great | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'Happy that I dismissed him, happy that he was going to retire': Ashwin recalls 'battle' against Sri Lanka great

By, New Delhi
Feb 28, 2022 05:48 PM IST

Ashwin will be next seen in action during India's two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, beginning March 4.

Ravichandran Ashwin will be sporting the Rajasthan Royals jersey in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season after the franchise bought him for 5 crore in the recent mega auction. The seasoned tweaker has plenty of experience under his belt and he will be heading to his new franchise after an impressive spell with Delhi Capitals.

Ravichandran Ashwin in action against South Africa(REUTERS)
Ravichandran Ashwin in action against South Africa(REUTERS)

As he shifts his base to the Royals, Ashwin has lavished praise on his new team's director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara. He recalled meeting Sangakkara for the first time in Sri Lanka and expressed desire to bond with the batting great. Incidentally, Ashwin had removed Sangakkara in both innings of his last Test match and the off-spinner said he was "happy" over the batter's retirement as it marked the end of their "battle".

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Ashwin, 35, has got 145 IPL wickets to his name. The Royals would be Ashwin's fourth franchise in the IPL, having played earlier for Chennai Super Kings (2008-2015), Kings XI Punjab (2018-2019), and the Delhi Capitals (2020-21).

"Sanga is a lovely gentleman, whenever I've interacted with him. The first time I met him was when we were having dinner with Dinesh Karthik in Sri Lanka and that was the first time I Sanga. We were on a tour to Sri Lanka and a lovely gentleman and quite an intellectual man. So, I am looking forward to a good connect with him and discuss a lot of cricket," said Ashwin in a video shared by Rajasthan Royals.

Widely regarded among the finest players to play for Sri Lanka, Sangakkara bid adieu to Test cricket in 2015 after the second Test against India at the P Sara Oval. It was India who won the match by 278 runs with KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane scoring tons in the first and second innings respectively.

"I played a couple of Test matches, dismissed him a few times. It's safe to say that Sanga retired then and there because, you know all these big batters when they get out to a certain bowler, they make plans and they come out hungrier, trying to dominate you. But I was, in a way, you know, happy that I dismissed him, happy that he was going to retire and I was a part of that game and quietly relaxed inside that he will not come up front and battle against me again," Ashwin further said.

Apart from Ashwin, Rajasthan Royals also have Yuzvendra Chahal in their spin attack. The Royals shelled out 6.50 crore to avail the services of the leg-spinner, winning a stiff bidding war with Mumbai Indians. Chahal, who has a base price of 2 crore, was previously a part of Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The Royals have one of the most lethal squads on paper, having got Shimron Hetmyer (8.50 Cr) and Devdutt Padikkal (7.75 Cr) in the batting mix along with skipper Samson (14 Cr), Jos Buttler (10 Cr) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (4 Cr). The franchise also splurged a whopping 10 crore for Prasidh Krishna and also bought Trent Boult for 10 crore.

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