26 Sep 2020

Super Kings were Delhi-vered a Capital Punishment as they struggle to find balance

By cricinsane

If things get missed once, it’s accepted as a mistake. If it’s done twice, it is called throwing out opportunities. CSK has been one of the commendable teams in the history of IPL having won 3 titles in the past. But the way the team approached IPL 2020 looks completely contradicting their spirit and much of the focus shifts to captain MS Dhoni and his rustic touch. They lacked the intent completely on the field while chasing and their bowlers were not sticking on to the field plans giving away a lot of freebies for the opponents to thrive upon. The young guns, Delhi Capitals clinched their second victory of the season and comfortably climbed to the top of the table while CSK were handed their second defeat and found themselves scrounging in the bottom. This match marked the end of the 7th game of the IPL 2020 edition and by this time, all the teams had established a fair bit of idea on their strengths and weaknesses. This leaves with much more of permutations and combinations to do up with to predict how the top of the table would look after 56 games.

Captain cool’s ICE not enough for the fire in his EYES

Dhoni won the toss for the third time in the row and elected to field. The past six match days had shown clearly as to how the chasing teams have never managed to cross the victory margin and CSK have seen themselves in a similar position a couple of days before. The very first question that the on field commentators raised was against MSD’s reason to field, but he answered that the other teams who batted second would have made some mistakes which his team would prevent. This left everyone in awe, hoping that the captain had refurbished his strategies and was ready to pounce on Punter’s boys. The dynamic left right combination of Prithvi and Dhawan took the field and started their attack with such elegance and valor. Shaw, who looked wayward in the last game, played with a lot more control and awareness. Even though they scored only a run a ball 36 throughout the powerplay, the batters were confident that if they had wickets in their hand, they could reach the estimated total. Soon their wishes were granted by the stars as CSK introduced their spinners into attack. CSK had always bragged about the strength they have in their spin contingency. However, it was the same reason that backfired for them badly for the second game in a row. Both Jadeja and Chawla were hit all around the park allowing DC to reach 102/1 within 12 overs. This year’s IPL had seen spinners victorious only if they had controlled their pace and bowled more through the air giving the ball more time to turn. But Jadeja and Chawla were bowling around 90kph continuously and the ball was simply skidding. Also their lines were erratic and it made the ball easily reach the fence.On observing closely with the previous game where CSK lost against RR, it was the wrist spinners Tewatia and Gopal who won the game for RR. They were neither well renowned nor menacing but they bowled with discipline and control. They beat the batsman in the air and deceived them to go for big shots. Somehow CSK tried to slow down DC’s momentum but Iyer and Pant made sure they reached a significant score of 176.

Too HOT to handle

At Least CSK’s openers should have found form and kept going from ball one to approach the chase with positive intent. But that was completely missing too. The Protean pair Rabada and Nortje, were too hot for the openers to handle. Besides, their spinners bowled exceptionally well. Axar Patel oozed a lot of confidence taking up the ball straight away in the powerplay and controlled CSK’s run scoring. He was supported by veteran Amit Mishra. Mishra’s bowling was like wine that kept getting better with age. The number of variations he has in his armory was simply astounding. He bowled leg breaks, googlies, flippers, back of the hand sliders etc. CSK and DC had similar spin bowling options in the game. Both had a left arm spinner and a wrist spinner. But the way they operated was the only point of difference in the result of the game. Gaikwad found himself short of the crease second time as the youngster’s nerves still had not settled. Faf again tried to pull an impossible mountain but the batsman at the other end never accelerated. And how can we forget the master himself in such a situation. He should have promoted himself up above Jadhav and Gaikwad. The game was in such a situation where it demanded both batsmen to fire, but they simply stuck on to singles and until the 15th over they were operating with a feeble run rate of 5 runs per over. Dhoni was completely out of form and he lacked the confidence and faith in himself. It was very ironic to think that CSK once had terrorizing openers like Hayden, Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum and Mike Hussey, only to find themselves struggling for a top order partnership now. CSK would be desperately hoping to have the services of Rayudu resume which would give them an additional option to experiment with the bowlers.

Mischievous Mishra

Overall it was a clinical performance by Delhi and they can still fill-in the little gaps they face in the likes of Shimron Hetmyer who looked impaired with batting and fielding. Alex Carey could be seen as an alternative. Also Ashwin’s recovery would boost their morale and keep them in high spirits. Hope they break the shackles and place their hands on their maiden IPL title. For CSK, things might not always work that way to take the game deep, but rather focus on consistent batting and bowling throughout the game.