In the 12th over of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) chase, Faf du Plessis hit one into the outfield. Shimron Hetmyer, running in for a simple catch, dropped the chance.
Had things turned out like yesterday's game, this chance may have cost Delhi Capitals (DC) heavily. However, it was not to be - despite getting lucky twice more, Du Plessis' many lives could not save CSK from a calamitous loss.
DC, on the other hand, have lots to smile about. It was a complete performance from the winning team. All batsmen in the Indian top 4 for DC got going and played their strokes watchfully yet effectively, getting runs and confidence under their belt.
The CSK bowlers, save for an excellent Sam Curran, were all taken for runs and just like the previous game, Piyush Chawla's later two overs redeemed his bowling figures to some extent.
It was in the second innings that the match began to look woefully imbalanced. None of CSK's batsmen were able to bat quickly enough, with some even scoring under a run a ball.
The DC bowlers, with the exception of young Avesh Khan who should have got Du Plessis' wicket, were extremely stringent and tied CSK up. The fact that after 12 overs, CSK had made merely 60, speaks volumes about the bowling team's control.
Ultimately, while many questions will be asked about the CSK batting order and chasing strategy, it was too much for MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja to do, although they too did not look threatening for the Men in Yellow.
Here, we look at 3 players who disappointed in this game.
#3 Murali Vijay (CSK)
The absence of Suresh Raina from this edition of the IPL has given Murali Vijay a chance to cement himself in this CSK batting lineup, and make a name for himself at the top of the order. After all, he has seen great heights with this franchise, having scored truckloads of runs for them in their back-to-back trophy-winning years in 2010 and 2011.
Right from the outset though, Murali Vijay has looked short of both confidence and form. In this IPL's first game, he looked all at sea against quality pace bowling. His current strike rate this season is below 75, almost 50 below his IPL career strike rate, and he has now gotten low scores on three straight occasions.
In this game, Vijay was tied down by DC's new-ball bowling. In his desperation to get going, he lobbed a quick back-of-a-length ball to mid-on for a simple catch. Making 10 off 15 in a tricky chase, he did not make his team's task any easier with his innings.
#2 Shane Watson (CSK)
Shane Watson became a part of CSK lore during the 2018 season, when he stood up remarkably for them with a hundred in the final to take the team home. With a bloodied knee in the 2019 final, he also played a key role in getting Chennai close to the target. He also had a storied IPL career for the Rajasthan Royals.
In this season, he too has had his travails, with a highest score of just 33. A far cry from the attacking batsman he used to be at the top, Watson struck at less than a run a ball this game. Entering this game with a woeful head-to-head against Axar Patel - 5 dismissals - he only worsened his record by being dismissed to a gentle delivery by the left-arm spinner. He fell for 14 from 16 balls.
While he did take DC's weakest bowler on the night, Avesh Khan, for some runs - a six and a four, to give the team some hope - Watson struggled against the other bowlers. His poor form, coupled with that of Murali Vijay, meant it was too much to do for Faf du Plessis, the current Orange Cap holder and one-man army in CSK's batting lineup of late.
Also see:- Yesterday IPL match result
#1 Ravindra Jadeja (CSK)
Ravindra Jadeja entered the 2020 IPL having unseated the spin twins' domination in the Indian ODI team. In the 2019 ICC World Cup, playing just two games but showing his worth in the field in all games, Jadeja was able to prove his utility in all facets of the game. Coupled with his decent performances before the pandemic struck, Jadeja's turnaround as a player meant increased trust from the CSK team management.
Jadeja has often been sent in to bat early for the CSK this time in the hope that he gets quick starts. In the context of his massive faith from the team, Jadeja has sorely disappointed. Banked upon as a containing bowler, he leaked runs, going for 44 runs on the night with no wickets to his name. The contrast was made more stark as counterpart Axar Patel, the same type of bowler as Jadeja, bowled superbly for DC.
With bat in hand, Jadeja was expected to strike lusty blows and give respect to a paltry CSK total till then. He looked wholly unconvincing with the willow, getting lucky on some occasions that the ball did not find the fielder, until he hit one straight to point off Kagiso Rabada off the last ball of the game.
The Super Kings have a lot of questions to answer. They have just one batsman in their current lineup finding form, and possess a bowling attack that does not pose a threat to sturdy batting lineups.
Published 26 Sep 2020, 00:18 IST