The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) has already seen some thrillers, but the recently concluded game between the Rajasthan Royals (RR) and the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) was surely the best match of the season so far.
Mayank Agarwal's hundred left RR needing to pull off the highest run-chase in the history of the IPL, and although Sanju Samson and Steve Smith scored splendid fifties, the 2008 IPL champions looked down and out with 3 overs to go.
But Rahul Tewatia, who had struggled majorly until that point, smashed Sheldon Cottrell for 5 sixes in the 18th over to tip the scales in RR's favour, and they eventually crossed the line in the final over.
Here are 3 tactical mistakes that were made in the RR vs KXIP IPL 2020 game.
#3 Steve Smith didn't attack with the brand new ball
KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have both been in excellent form in IPL 2020, and fans were eagerly awaiting their battle with RR's pace spearhead Jofra Archer. It thus came as a shock when RR captain Steve Smith chose to open the bowling with Jaydev Unadkat, with Ankit Rajpoot operating from the other end.
The left-armer has been in abysmal form over the past few years in the IPL, and it may have been a case of using the team's weakest bowler when the batsmen are not looking to go after them. However, the decision backfired horribly, with KXIP comfortably placed at 28/0 after 3 overs.
Archer was duly brought into the attack, but Agarwal and Rahul were well set as they took 13 runs off the Englishman's over.
#2 RR sent in Rahul Tewatia at No. 4
Now, Rahul Tewatia may have demolished Sheldon Cottrell by hitting him for 5 sixes in the 18th over to swing the run-chase in RR's favour, but promoting him to No. 4 was still a mistake on the part of Steve Smith and the management. The all-rounder was completely stuck at one point in his innings, with his partner Sanju Samson even refusing a single on one occasion.
Tewatia said in the post-match interview that he was sent to take on the leg-spinners - Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin - and he didn't succeed in this objective. He may have been bailed out by his own heart and strength of will, but it must be noted that were it not for some extremely ordinary bowling by Cottrell and Shami towards the end of the innings, RR would've fallen short.
Robin Uthappa should've been the man to come in at No. 4, but given the (eventually) match-winning knock that Tewatia played, all's well that ends well.
Who won yesterday IPL match, click here to find out.
#1 KL Rahul chose to give the 16th over to Glenn Maxwell
When KL Rahul tossed the ball to Glenn Maxwell for the 16th over of the RR innings, the off-spinner had bowled 2 overs for just 8 runs. The decision seemed like a strange one right from the outset, due to the presence of a well-set Sanju Samson.
The RR No. 3 didn't disappoint, as he carted Maxwell for 3 sixes in the over, with 21 runs in total coming off it. While the game was not over by any means due to this expensive mistake, it certainly did serve as the turning point of the game.
12 runs came off the next Mohammed Shami over, with the 18th over delivered by Sheldon Cottrell going for 30. The required run rate was 16.8 when Maxwell came in to bowl his third over, and Rahul should've gone for the kill by bowling ace speedster Shami, who had two overs left.
Published 28 Sep 2020, 00:26 IST