Chennai Super Kings (CSK) off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has opined that Ambati Rayudu has shown with his match-winning knock against Mumbai Indians (MI) that he deserved to be in India's squad for the 2019 World Cup. He made this observation while reviewing CSK's win against MI in the opening match of IPL 2020 on Sports Tak.
Harbhajan Singh singled out the partnership between Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis as the turning point for CSK in the match.
"The partnership between Rayudu and Du Plessis was the game-changing moment for Chennai Super Kings. We have made a bright start and we need to keep moving forward like this."
The wily spinner, who opted out of the CSK squad, mentioned that the win against MI could be a good omen for the franchise. He recalled their title-winning run in IPL 2018 after having got the better of the same team in the opening match that season.
"I remember that when we had won the IPL two years back, we had defeated Mumbai Indians in the first game. So, it is a good omen for us and I hope we will finish well again."
While reserving special praise for Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh pointed out that the Hyderabad batsman has shown that the selectors had erred in overlooking him for India's squad for the 2019 World Cup.
"It will be less however much you appreciate Rayudu. I feel there was an injustice done to him when the World Cup team was picked. He should have been definitely there in that team. But he has showed again in this match, how much ability he has and that age is on one side and talent is also something that needs to be looked at."
Harbhajan Singh on the other factors that contributed to CSK's win over MI
Harbhajan Singh was also effusive in his praise for the CSK bowling attack, with a special mention for Piyush Chawla who was extremely economical and snared the prized wicket of Rohit Sharma.
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"I would like to praise the bowling attack, the manner in which all the bowlers have bowled, especially Piyush Chawla, who conceded so few runs and took the big wicket of Rohit Sharma and restricted a big team like Mumbai Indians to a score of 162 runs."
He added that it was a complete game for CSK even though the franchise got limited training time due to the positive COVID tests in their camp.
"After that Rayudu and Du Plessis' innings put the match in Chennai Super Kings' lap. It was a complete game for Chennai Super Kings, they played very good cricket despite not getting enough practice compared to the other teams."
Harbhajan Singh responded that the Mumbai Indians might have been a little too aggressive ,when asked if the franchise caused their own downfall by trying to go for a score of 200 runs. He pointed out that MI losing a couple of wickets in Ravindra Jadeja's over, including the destructive Hardik Pandya, probably broke their momentum.
"I think Mumbai Indians miscalculated a little. They probably wanted to put a score around 180-185 and played too many strokes due to which they started losing continuous wickets. The one over in which Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets including Hardik Pandya, the set batsmen once they are dismissed, the team loses rhythm."
Harbhajan Singh also highlighted that the CSK batsmen had targeted Mumbai Indians' premier bowler Jasprit Bumrah during the run chase, which was something out of the ordinary.
"Senior players like Jasprit Bumrah, of whom it is expected that he will concede very few runs, CSK targetted him today, which in itself is a very big thing to play big shots against such a bowler."
Jasprit Bumrah turned out to be the most expensive bowler in the entire match, conceding 43 runs in his 4-over spell. His first over of the match, which went for 14 runs, changed the momentum of the encounter in CSK's favour after the MS Dhoni-led team had been restricted to a score of 23 runs for the loss of two wickets in the first five overs.
Published 20 Sep 2020, 12:35 IST