Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) paid a heavy price for MS Dhoni pushing himself down the batting order in yesterday's IPL 2020 clash against the Rajasthan Royals (RR). He made this observation while reviewing CSK's defeat against RR in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra started by lauding the ease with which Sanju Samson was caressing the ball into the stands. The latter was particularly severe on Piyush Chawla, who was the Chennai Super Kings' standout bowler from their previous match against the Mumbai Indians.
"After Chennai Super Kings won the toss and elected to field, Rajasthan Royals started to go after the bowling. What a dangerous player Sanju Samson is, the ease with which he was hitting sixes it looked like he was knocking or playing book cricket. Piyush Chawla, who had done well in the previous match, got a hammering from him."
The reputed commentator pointed out that Steve Smith playing like a junior partner in his partnership with Samson was ample proof of the talent the young wicket-keeper-batsman possesses.
"Steve Smith was playing with him and he was playing second fiddle, that was a huge acknowledgement of the quality that Samson has. After that the innings staggered a little and Chennai Super Kings made a comeback."
Aakash Chopra highlighted the mauling Lungi Ngidi received from the willow of Jofra Archer as the differentiating factor in the match, with Chennai Super Kings never recovering from the assault.
"But then Jofra came at the end and hit the ball all round the park. Chennai Super Kings could not recover from Jofra Archer's torture. They conceded 30 runs in the last over, with Ngidi facing the brunt. And that was the difference in the end."
Aakash Chopra's analysis of the Chennai Super Kings chase
While talking about the Chennai Super Kings' batting effort, Aakash Chopra observed that the three-time IPL champions did not get off to a flying start with the problem compounded by their messed-up batting order.
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"When RR bowled, Chennai Super Kings did not get off to a great start although Shane Watson was looking good. Murali Vijay, not the kind of player you want if you are chasing 216. After that the batting order was jumbled up in my opinion."
The former KKR player reckoned that MS Dhoni should have come above Ruturaj Gaikwad and Kedar Jadhav, and observed that Chennai Super Kings paid a heavy price for their captain's reluctance to come up the order.
"It was okay till Sam Curran but after that you sent Ruturaj and then Kedar, when will Dhoni come. So Dhoni held himself back for a long time and at the end they paid the price for that, because there was some rust and he needed some time."
He highlighted that MS Dhoni required a few deliveries to get into his groove, which was evident from his strike rate in the initial stages of his innings.
"He had scored 10 runs off 13 balls and then later hit three-four sixes, the power is there but he didn't give himself the time he should have spent in the middle."
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that although the final scores might suggest that it was a close encounter, the Rajasthan Royals totally outplayed the Chennai Super Kings.
"In the end, it seemed like a close match but to be very honest it was a one-sided victory for Rajasthan Royals over the Chennai Super Kings."
MS Dhoni walked in to bat with the Chennai Super Kings struggling at a score of 114/5 after 13.4 overs, needing another 103 runs for victory from just 38 deliveries. Although he did smash three consecutive sixes in the final over bowled by Tom Curran, it turned out to be too little too late as CSK lost the match by 16 runs.
Published 23 Sep 2020, 10:26 IST