Rajasthan Royals pacer Avesh Khan credited the team’s simple thought process in their thrilling four-wicket win against Royals Challengers Bengaluru in the Indian Premier League 2024 Eliminator match at Ahmedabad on Wednesday. 

The bowling unit, led by Avesh, put in an all-round performance under pressure to restrict RCB to 172/8 after their middle order was looking good to post a strong total. Trent Boult and Ravichandran Ashwin also brought their experience to the fore with match-changing spells.

Later in the day, the batters, especially Riyan Parag and Shimron Hetmyer, took a leaf out of their bowling counterparts’ mindset and kept things simple to book their place in Qualifier 2 of IPL 2024.

“(Kumar) Sangakkara (Head Coach and Director of Cricket) told us not to regret anything irrespective of whether we win or lose,” Avesh revealed in the post-match press conference. “The meeting was simple. We decided we would give our 100 percent and enjoy the game.

“There is always pressure when it is a knockout match because you do not get a second chance. But the more you keep things simple, the easier it is to have clarity of thought.

“This is IPL, whoever handles pressure well, will win,” the Royals’ pacer explained.

When the chips were down, Avesh never gave up and showed a remarkable fight to pull things back. The pacer gave away a six off the first ball in his third over as his figures read 0/36 in 2.1 overs. 

But in the next 11 balls, Avesh gave away just eight runs and picked up three wickets to turn the match on its head and dashed RCB’s hopes of posting a 200-plus total.

“I focused on executing what I thought at the top of my bowling mark. In the slog overs, I always bowl wide yorkers, yorkers or slower bouncers. When I mix them up, I always get good results, so I have not changed much from that,” Avesh mentioned. 

“You can develop mental toughness only when you are put in high-pressure situations frequently. When you need 10 or 12 runs from one over you forget everything else, you focus only on execution,” Avesh explained. 

“We discussed these small things in team meetings. Sandy (Sandeep Sharma) bowled one over well and I bowled two good overs. The margins are really small, so keeping that in mind we always try to come back even if you get hit for a boundary,” Avesh said.

Rajasthan Royals will next meet Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Qualifier 2 at Chennai on Friday for a spot in the final.

“We did not have a good match at Chennai last time around, but we are trying to learn from that. We will play with the same effort and intensity,” Avesh concluded.