IPL 2019, CSK vs RCB: How a dream IPL debut turned into a disaster for 3 RCB players
The much awaited 12th edition of the Indian Premier League - IPL 2019 - kick-started with defending champions Chennai Super Kings taking on the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
CSK had played a solitary game last season at the MA Chidambaram stadium but they returned to their favourite hunting ground for the season opener of this edition. As the two iconic captains — MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli — went out to the middle for the toss, it became apparent that RCB had three debutants in their playing XI.
With an all-out approach at the auctions once again, it was expected that RCB would try out their new buys sooner rather than later. Shimron Hetmyer and Shivam Dube were bought for Rs 4.2 crore and Rs 5 crore respectively in an attempt to strengthen the middle-order.
While it was expected that both Dube and Hetymyer would feature in the team, Navdeep Saini, who was bought in the last season's auctions for Rs. 3 crore, was also in the starting XI.
Asked to bat on a slow-turning track, RCB were struggling at 38/3 with Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali back in the hut. It was up to the newcomers to save RCB from collapsing and start of their IPL careers in style.
But what transpired, was the complete opposite of what the debutants would have wanted.
The 22-year-old left-handed batsman from West Indies had only played his second delivery when he tried to get off the mark by squeezing a single that was never there. A decent throw from Suresh Raina saw Hetmyer’s innings coming to an end for a duck. The suicidal run-out had only made matters worse for RCB.
One debutant was replaced by another as Dube walked to the crease. His prowess of striking the ball long and his ability to chip in with a few overs of medium pace made him a valuable addition to the squad.
As Parthiv Patel searched for some stability from the other end, Dube fell victim to Imran Tahir's spin bowling, with just two runs to his credit from the five deliveries he had faced. The only consolation for him in the game was that he took a catch to dismiss Suresh Raina, and bowled four deliveries where he gave away three runs.
Navdeep Saini had a less disappointing debut as compared to the other two. While he wasn't expected to bat in the middle, given how RCB is a strong batting unit, his services were needed in the 10th over itself.
He managed two runs before facing his third delivery from Tahir, where he was struck on the pads. The appeal for an LBW was reviewed by Dhoni at the last second since Tahir was certain that he had got his man. During the review, it became apparent that Saini had edged the delivery and Watson had completed the catch at first slip.
The umpire had to overturn his decision and in the process, another debutant had failed to leave a lasting impression. When he came on to bowl though, Saini looked impressive with his consistent speed and decent line and length. However, he remained wicketless in his quota of 4 overs and gave away 24 runs.
CSK went on to win the game comfortably with 7 wickets in hand. The three debutants and the entire RCB team would want to forget their opening game of the season and look to start afresh when they take the field next. Overall, It was a batting disaster for RCB as everyone except Parthiv Patel scored below 10 runs.
The three debutants are crucial to the balance of the RCB team, and the management would expect some strong performances from them as the tournament progresses.
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