The Mumbai Indians' (MI) starting woes in the Indian Premier League (IPL) continued as the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) overcame a nightmare start to clinch a 20-run win in Dubai. With the win, CSK moved to the top of the IPL 2021 points table by virtue of having a better net run rate than the Delhi Capitals.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, MS Dhoni saw his team reduced to 24/4 in the powerplay. Ambati Rayudu retired hurt with an arm injury as well, leaving CSK with a herculean task to revive the innings. They did just that, though, as Ruturaj Gaikwad's stellar 88-run knock helped them reach a par total of 156/6.
In response, MI were pegged back early by Deepak Chahar before the CSK bowlers continued to chip away at the wickets. Josh Hazlewood scalped the crucial wicket of Kieron Pollard in the 14th over to effectively drill the final nail in the MI coffin.
Here are the player ratings of both CSK and MI from the opening game of IPL 2021's second phase.
IPL 2021: CSK player ratings vs MI as Gaikwad steals the show
Ruturaj Gaikwad: 9/10
Gaikwad continued from where he left off in IPL 2021 as he notched up a brilliant unbeaten 88 to take CSK to a fighting total. As the rest of the top order crumbled around him, he patiently saw off the new ball before taking the attack to the spinners. The 24-year-old unfurled a few delightful shots towards the end of his innings, showcasing his immense class in his first IPL innings as a capped Indian player. A dropped catch in the second innings was a small aberration as Gaikwad walked away with the Man of the Match award.
Faf du Plessis: 3/10
Du Plessis passed a late fitness test to be included in CSK's playing XI, but he lasted just three balls before being dismissed by Trent Boult. The South African took a safe catch to dismiss Suryakumar Yadav and made a few fine stops in the field.
Moeen Ali: 6/10
Ali walked in at the No. 3 position where he has excelled this season, but he couldn't make an impact in Dubai. Like Du Plessis, the slowness of the surface brought about his downfall as he tried to hit Adam Milne on the up. Although Ali too bagged a three-ball duck, he made up for it with an excellent three-over spell, over the course of which he didn't bowl any loose deliveries and conceded only 16 runs.
Ambati Rayudu: 1/10
Rayudu came in at No. 4 ahead of Raina without much match practice under his belt, and the rust was there to see in the three balls he faced. After being hustled by the extra pace of Milne, he was rapped on the arm by an incoming short ball from the Kiwi quick. Rayudu retired hurt and played no further part in the match, but MS Dhoni expressed optimism about the injury in the post-match press conference.
Suresh Raina: 1/10
Raina's innings can only be described as woeful. The familiar short-ball ploy got the CSK vice-captain second guessing every delivery, and while he edged one away for four, another wild slog saw him dismissed for just 4 by Boult. Raina looked completely out of sorts in the middle, although he did take a couple of smart catches in the second innings.
MS Dhoni: 4/10
Dhoni might consider his dismissal for 3 off 5 slightly unlucky as he timed one sweetly off Milne straight to Boult at deep square leg. The CSK skipper was expectedly brilliant with his captaincy as he set cunning fields and affected smart bowling changes to keep the MI batsmen guessing. A communication mishap led to a dropped catch, but it was a near-perfect second innings for Dhoni.
Ravindra Jadeja: 5/10
Jadeja has been in excellent batting form over the past two years, but he wasn't able to play freely against MI. He labored to 26 off 33 as he attempted to reconstruct the innings with Gaikwad before being deceived by a slower ball from Jasprit Bumrah. The southpaw could've arguably stepped on the gas earlier, but the runs he made were crucial for CSK. The only over he bowled went for 13 as Kieron Pollard and Saurabh Tiwary hit him for a six and a four respectively.
Dwayne Bravo: 9.5/10
Bravo turned back the clock to produce a vintage display, smashing three sixes in an eight-ball knock that injected massive momentum towards the end of the CSK innings. He was even better with the ball as he scalped three wickets while conceding only 25 runs. CSK will be greatly pleased with the performance of their key all-rounder, who was under an injury cloud ahead of the game.
Deepak Chahar: 8.5/10
Chahar once again set the tone in the powerplay as he dismissed Quinton de Kock with an inswinger and followed it up by bamboozling Anmolpreet Singh with a brilliant knuckle ball. He should've had another wicket when he forced Saurabh Tiwary into a false shot, only to see Dhoni and Bravo make a meal of it. Cramps didn't prevent Chahar from bowling out his quota for the cost of just 19 runs.
Shardul Thakur : 7.5/10
Thakur had only one over to bowl in the powerplay after Josh Hazlewood was taken for a few runs and he made the most of it by picking up the key wicket of Suryakumar Yadav. He bowled tight lengths for most of his spell, and although his final over was expensive, he gave a good account of himself.
Josh Hazlewood: 7/10
Hazlewood's overs in the powerplay were a nightmare, with De Kock and Anmolpreet finding the boundary at will against him. He saw Gaikwad drop a catch off his bowling, but he really should've been tighter at the stage of the innings where he is expected to be at his best. The Aussie came back brilliantly in the second half of the innings as he trapped Pollard in front and bowled two economical overs.