Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that the Mumbai Indians (MI) spinners Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya were found wanting in comparison to Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) Piyush Chawla in the opening match of IPL 2020. He made this observation while doing a review of the CSK-MI clash in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
While talking about the factors that contributed to CSK's win against MI after five consecutive losses against them, Aakash Chopra picked Ambati Rayudu as one of the main reasons, with the latter having shown the selectors that one need not possess three-dimensional skills to be a match-winner.
"Ambati Rayudu may not be a three-dimensional player, but he showed that he is very effective in the one dimension he has. He showed the selectors that three-dimensional skills are not necessary. He showed that he is still relevant, can still score runs and can win matches."
The reputed commentator lauded Rayudu for taking the attack to the opposition bowlers after Trent Boult and James Pattinson had put a stranglehold on the CSK batsmen in the first five overs.
"He was a huge difference between the two sides. The way he batted at the beginning, with a very positive mindset. Mumbai Indians with Trent Boult and James Pattinson had kept CSK on a tight leash in the first 5 overs and that's when Ambati Rayudu suddenly cut loose and batted for a long time."
Aakash Chopra added that the difference between the two sides was the substantial contributions made by Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis for CSK while the MI batsmen threw away their bright starts.
"Chennai Super Kings lost a couple of early wickets but came back strong with the help of Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis. By the time Rayudu was out, the match was in CSK's grasp. Quite a few Mumbai Indians got starts but they could not capitalise and that was the difference in the end."
Aakash Chopra on the CSK's Piyush Chawla outbowling MI's Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar
Aakash Chopra highlighted the greater efficacy of the CSK spin attack as the other stark difference between the two sides, something which was known before the start of the IPL.
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"The spin department was the other big difference between the two sides. We were repeatedly saying that the Mumbai Indians' spin department could trouble them while Chennai Super Kings have a great spin attack."
The former KKR player observed that although both sides had gone in with a pace-heavy attack, it was the CSK spinners and Piyush Chawla in particular who proved to be the difference.
"But both the teams played more fast bowlers, on one side we had Bumrah, Boult and Pattinson and on the other side we had Deepak Chahar, Sam Curran and Ngidi. But it was the spin in the end and Piyush Chawla was the difference."
While speaking highly about the extremely economical spell bowled by Piyush Chawla, Aakash Chopra pointed out that Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar were not of the same standard, something that could hit MI hard as the tournament progresses.
"First he got the breakthrough and then was very economical. His four overs were like gold dust. And when we saw on the other side, Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar were not of the same quality. And that is something that might come back to bite the Mumbai Indians as the tournament progresses."
Piyush Chawla had brought CSK back into the game after the Mumbai Indians had got off to a flying start. He not only dismissed Rohit Sharma but went on to bowl a restrictive spell of four overs, conceding just 21 runs.
During the run chase, Ambati Rayudu and Faf Du Plessis took CSK home with a 115-run partnership for the third wicket after the Chennai-based franchise had lost a couple of early wickets with just six runs on the board.
Published 20 Sep 2020, 09:42 IST