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IPL 2019: 5 strategic masterstrokes of the season

Deepak Panda
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.90K   //    Timeless

IPL 2019 ended with one of the most thrilling finals in the history of the league. The two most successful teams battled for supremacy, and the match went down to the very last ball with MI pipping CSK by 1 run.

The nail-biting final was a fitting end to a season which had the most last-over finishes ever. As many as 32 games went to the last over, including the final.

For the first time in the history of the IPL, the top and bottom ranked teams in the points table were separated by just seven points. Moreover, the eighth-ranked team was just one point behind the fourth-ranked team. This shows the immense competition that was prevalent throughout the tournament.

The season, however, did not start on a bright note, with certain teams flying away with consecutive wins while a couple of other teams were finding it tough to open their accounts. As the season progressed the contest started getting more even, thanks to some major tactical changes by the teams.

Here, we look at five such tactical masterstrokes which changed the fortunes of the teams, or which could have helped the teams if executed earlier:

#5 Shubman Gill as an opener

Shubman Gill scored three fifties as an opener (picture courtesy - BCCI/iplt20.com)
Shubman Gill scored three fifties as an opener (picture courtesy - BCCI/iplt20.com)

Touted as one of the future stars of Indian cricket, Shubman Gill had an excellent domestic season as an opener in the build-up to IPL 2019. However, just like the 2018 season, he was used at number 6 or below for the majority of the first half of the tournament.

Batting lower down the order resulted in mediocre returns from a hugely talented player. But as the tournament progressed, the Kolkata Knight Riders management finally shelved the Sunil Narine experiment at the top and made Gill open the batting.

It was probably a bit too late for the realization to hit home that the youngster was being wasted at number 7. Opening the batting, Gill scored three half-centuries and finished the season with 296 runs.

He also won the Emerging Player award, and is surely an asset for the future for KKR - someone whom they can look to build the team around in the coming years.

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