IPL 2019: Three reasons why RCB lost against CSK at Chepauk
The first match of IPL 2019 was tipped to be a mouth-watering clash between two of India’s greatest players, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. While the former has had great success for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL with three trophies, the latter has failed to inspire Royal Challengers Bangalore in this league.
The first match was also the 50th IPL game at the iconic MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. One of the most knowledgeable crowds were deprived of action in the last few years because of various reasons that we all know now. It was a full house as expected and a sea of yellow welcomed both legends to kick start the IPL 2019 campaign.
With both sides packed with power hitters and a reasonably thin bowling attack, it was expected to be a high scoring contest until one saw the 22 yards. The pitch wore a dry and tired look with plenty of turn and purchase for the spinners.
In the end, CSK spinners were too good for RCB and the match overall was a damp squib for the first game of a huge tournament.
Let us take a look at three reasons why RCB lost the opening game.
#1 Team selection
One of Virat Kohli’s leadership criticism over the years has been the team selection and once again he erred by playing only two spin options on a wicket that looked like it will turn from ball one. With Pawan Negi and Washington Sundar available as spin options for RCB, Kohli decided to go in with three Indian quicks in Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav, and Mohammad Siraj.
On the other hand, MS Dhoni decided to pack the side with spin options and in the end paid rich dividends as they were very hard to score off on a wicket that turned sharply. In fact, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who opened the bowling finished his quota of 4 overs in one spell.
#2 Failure of Kohli and de Villiers
Even though the side is packed with some big hitters, RCB depend heavily on their two prime batsmen in captain Virat Kohli and 'Mr 360' AB de Villiers. It was even more critical for RCB that these two played meaningful knocks because the wicket was too challenging for others to make an impact.
Both the batsmen were dismissed in a similar fashion while trying to pull the ball off Harbhajan Singh and holed out in the deep on the leg side. The wicket was challenging to score even for these two greats and once they fell in quick succession, it was always going to be downhill for RCB.
#3 Poor shot selection
It was very evident from ball one that the wicket was not a hit-through-the-line type. It required more grafting rather than playing fancy strokes. One felt RCB should have assessed the pitch better while batting first and even a total of 120 could have been challenging for the Men in Yellow.
All the RCB batsmen were trying to play aggressive shots which were a high-risk option on that wicket. Even though it was a challenging track for batsmen, it was definitely not a 70 all out one. All that they lacked was some application and the willingness to fight for each and every run.
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