Luckily, the opportunity presented itself in Game 3 for the Super Giants. Avesh had already put the Super Giants ahead in the game with wickets for fly-half Kane Williamson and Abhishek Sharma. Williamson fell trying to throw a slower ball, a delivery that Avesh knew would work because he saw some stickiness when his team hit.
During the strategic timeout in the second half of the game, Super Giants mentor Gautam Gambhir told Avesh that he had to win the game for the team. “Just throw your best ball,” Gambhir told him, according to Avesh. “Just pick your best ball, step back and run it. Gautam bayAndy Bichel, Andy Fleur, KL [Rahul] bay – they always tell me that you are our main bowler. You will win us games.”
When Avesh started the 18th, a win seemed a long way off. Sunrisers needed 33 with Nicholas Pooran looking dangerous and six wickets in hand on the floor who saw the most sixes this IPL.
Avesh tried to repeat what he had learned earlier and rolled down the pitch only for the ball to straighten up nicely for Pooran to hit a six. This took the Sunrisers’ probability of victory well over 60%. And if you fell victim to it not so long ago, you may begin to doubt yourself.
“I still had five balls to go,” Avesh said. “I thought I had to focus on executing them. I thought I would only play the Yorkers now. It worked.”
They weren’t the perfect Yorkers. The one that got Pooran was a thigh-high full throw. Whoever represented Abdul Samad was barely a Yorker. But that’s how cricket sometimes goes: there will be days when he nails the Yorkers but they run for four from the inside edge. The fact that his last franchise trusted him to do it, that four franchises fought for him in the auction, that he overcame this despite losing two games ago tells you that this is not is no coincidence.
On the ESPNcricinfo smart stats metric to gauge a player’s impact on the outcome, Avesh ended up with a score of 121.57, 40 ahead of the next best. He is consistently picked to do the toughest job more often than established superstars. His teams certainly seem to know his worth.