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The SECRET of CSK's strong comeback?

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 • Tamil Comments
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Title-favorites Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bounced back into the reckoning with a convincing 20-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at Dubai in a pulsating finish at the Dubai cricket stadium on Tuesday. CSK’s fans heaved a huge sigh of relief as SRH came unstuck while chasing CSK’s par-score of 167, thus falling 20 runs short.

CSK bats first for the first time

CSK’s legion of fans have been making all sorts of comparisons with the team’s present performance to the 2010’s title-winning effort when it was in a similar situation during the half-way stage prior to the play-off stage. CSK won the toss and chose to bat, thus getting to bat first for the first time in 8 matches this year.

MSD sent the ever-improving Sam Curran to open with Faf du Plessis. Though both fell within the power-play, CSK had had a better power-play with Sam belting 31 off 21 balls (three 4’s and two 6’s). Faf scored a golden duck by nicking his and the first ball of the third-over to ‘keeper Bairstow.

Jadeja, MSD shine with the bat

Rayudu (41) and Watson (42) stitched together a 81-run partnership in 10.2 overs; however, both fell in quick succession. Dhoni and Jadeja hit some lusty blows before MSD holed out in the last ball of the 19th over for a 13-ball 21. Jadeja finished the innings in style with a 10-ball 25 including three 4’s and a six. The target of 168 was considered a ‘par score’ but as it turned out later, CSK defended it very tactfully.

Bowlers choke SRH batters

CSK’s army of seven bowlers (including three spinners) kept a decent line. Except for a few occasional overs, the bowlers gave away only the minimum runs to push the required run-rate to go past 12 after the 12th over. Wickets kept falling regularly after captain Warner was castled by Sam Curran. Kane Williamson, the Kiwi skipper, waged a lone battle but his departure in the 18th over had almost sealed the match in CSK’s favour.

Kane, the lone warrior

Kane hit a well-composed 39-ball 57 with seven hits to the fence. Bairstow was bowled by a Jadeja beauty and Manish was run-out by an agile Bravo. Priyam Garg and Vijay Shankar gave brief company to Kane before getting out going for big-shots as the run-rate was steadily climbing. Rashid Khan took a heavy toll in Karn Sharma’s last over, hitting him for a four and a six after Kane got out. Thakur bowled an immaculate penultimate over to taken the match out of SRH’s grabs; experienced Bravo bowled the last over when 22 were needed, giving away just two runs.

Bizarre change

Though CSK has won the match comprehensively, a question on their strategy does arise. The team made a change by Replacing young batsman Jagadeesan with experienced spinner Piyush Chawla. This is questionable in two counts. One, it is unfair to treat a youngster who did decently in his first outing.

Secondly, adding another bowler to the already crowded bowling department looks a crazy idea. CSK has used 7 bowlers to bowl 20 overs. Piyush was given just one over. It is not that he had bowled badly and hence he was denied a second over. Dhoni brought him after the 15th over. An experienced spinner being brought into the attack on 16th over and then not giving him another chance is something inexplicable.

Jadeja was aptly adjudged the ‘Man of the Match’ for his batting, fielding (2 catches), and bowling (one wicket).

Match in brief

CSK: 167/6 (20 overs)

SRH: 147/8 (20 overs)

Man of the Match: Ravindra Jadeja

Images Courtesy: BCCI, IPLT20

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