27 Sep 2020

Rising Sun sets to give way for happy (K)night time

By cricinsane

With the evolution of technology, the globe has shrunk into a small market where every individual is at reachable distance both physically and virtually. Friends and families who once gathered to storm into the ticket counters of the IPL venue to buy tickets for their favourite matches, are now meeting in virtual rooms and sharing their joy and excitement owing to the worldwide crisis. Despite the testing times, it has been a commendable effort by the committee to make this grand event happen in the most safest manner possible which has brought respite to millions of people. To keep players away from the traumatizing site of empty stands, the supporting groups had come up with artificial crowd cheers running behind and were telecasting fans’ reactions realtime. Technology can substitute such situations of mishaps but eventually the laws of nature are so powerful that even the smallest of particles are not spared. The rising sun had to fall and a beautiful (k)night had to rise up as the fans in the city of joy would be storming the streets shouting Korbo! Lorbo! Jeet Bo!

Night belongs to the Knights

Sunrisers Hyderabad took on Kolkata Knight Riders in a match that was not as engaging as a match that a fan would have expected for a saturday night show down, yet had lively moments as most of the young guns stepped up for the party. Both teams having lost their opening matches, were looking to salvage their pride with first victory in their kitty. However, much impacted by their previous loss, both the teams straight away made a handful of changes. Nabi came in for injured Mitchell Marsh and Saha filled in the boots of Vijay Shankar while domestic talents and youngsters Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Varun Chakravarthy featured in the day’s game. Sunrisers came up to bat first and a lot of expectation straight away turned on Warner and Bairstow to give their team a belligerent start. However, the most expensive player of the edition, Patrick Cummins sent his bunny Bairstow searching, and equal support was produced by the U19 sensational duo Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti. Captain DK straight away decided to operate his spinners and seamers in tandem as they kept the run scoring in check. The mystery bowler Varun removed David Warner and by the end of first half of the first innings, SRH weren’t able to cross even 70 run mark. But Pandey and Saha rescued them from a complete collapse. Both the batters were not known for their power hitting and hence worked well with their strengths by steering the ball through the gaps and stealing couples. Scoreboard kept ticking but there was no significant propellent available to power boost the team and by 20 overs SRH reached 142/4. 

DK bowled 7 bowlers in that innings and all of them were exceptional with their duties delivering what the captain expected. But there were two outstanding personalities who had to be given special mentions for the day. Firstly it was speedster Shivam Mavi. When KKR were thrashed by MI in their first match, Mavi was the only bowler who bowled at attacking lengths and conserved his economy. He replicated the same form by hitting the deck hard and rolled his fingers with nice change ups as he bowled the most important death overs of KKR’s bowling. Their death bowling had always been a concern and hopefully Mavi can be the last piece in the puzzle that KKR were looking for. The next person is Kamlesh Nagarkoti. For those who are not familiar with this budding talent, he was the most prized possession of the Indian U19 World Cup winning contingent. But he had a stop start career. Bundled down by a severe leg injury, he played his last professional match back in 2018 and saw himself straight into NCA. An 18 year old ambitious bowler found himself lonely at the training and rehabilitation center while his counterparts stepped up to play for the National Team. He had gone through an immense mental battle to counter his psychological pain and his coach, the legend, Rahul Dravid kept checking with him time and again to keep him morally boosted. He was picked up for KKR in 2018 auctions but the team had faith in him and didn’t let him go and today he repaid the faith in multifolds. Sharing the new ball with Pat Cummins, a person who had faced similar career trajectory, it would have been such a learning straight away on the field and hopefully he should bounce back stronger than ever in his career.

Where there’s a GILL there is a way!

The happy knights came in to bat as the target was below par and they had the missile Andre Russell loaded and ready to drop bombshells. But he was not needed for the day as again it was another youth who shone with the bat to see the team through the victory lines. Shubman Gill opened the chase and right from the word go, he was striking beautifully. Such an elegant stroke maker, he made mockery of the weak fast bowling lineup of SRH. He went on to score a match winning 70 off 52 while he was supported by the senior statesman Eoin Morgan who was unbeaten on 42. Sunrisers tried to pull things back to their side when they introduced their main man, Rashid Khan, to rattle KKR’s batting order. But Rashid was successful enough to only trap DK in front of the wicket. His compatriot Mohammad Nabi contained from the other end. But poor SRH, they can only have 8 overs from the duo! With back to back boundaries, Morgan finished the chase making the knights open their account in IPL 2020. Sunrisers have to seriously revamp their fast bowling unit as none of them imposed a scare for the batsman. More to their concern was their middle order batting who never seemed to fire. They have to find a way to bring in Kane Williamson who would be the most important man for them. For a great leader and a stupendous batsman like him who lead the team to the finals in the absence of David Warner, its complete injustice to make him warm the benches. Hope to see him on the field soon. As almost all the teams opened their account for this season, SRH has to get their combination right for their upcoming mighty challenge to get going in the tournament.