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IPL 2018 | Talking Points - The Andre Russell show and Rishabh Pant’s big problem

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IPL 2018 | Talking Points - The Andre Russell show and Rishabh Pant’s big problem

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SportsCafe Desk


Even though the final result might suggest that it was a straightforward win for KKR, the game had quite a few twists. From Dinesh Karthik finally getting his tactics right to Andre Russell proving his pedigree, here are the main talking points from Delhi’s outing at the Eden Gardens.

Andre Russell = Kieron Pollard 2.0

Incredible is a most used adjective in sports but when Andre Russell leaves the pitch, you can’t help but say that was INCREDIBLE! The Windies star missed last season’s IPL and despite Sunil Narine moonlighting as an all rounder you could see that KKR lacked that cutting edge. This time he is back and how! With his 88-run innings against Chennai Super Kings, he re-established himself as KKR’s go to man in a pressure situation. Today was no different. He came in with the score at 123/4 and needed to keep Rana company and add a few runs to the score. He picked Mohammed Shami as his target, and with three sixes in an over, he quickly put the fear of God into the DD bowlers. He followed that up by hitting the Indian pacer for another trio of sixes in his next over, with one of the hits even crossing the 100m mark. His cameo of 41 off just 12 balls ensured that KKR managed to put 200 on the board. He might have just opened his wicket tally for the tournament, but now that he has one, he will not take too long to hit his stride in the bowling department as well.

Dinesh Karthik finally trusts Shivam Mavi; gets rewarded

When Gautam Gambhir decided that he wanted to return home, every KKR fan would have been nervous about the change in leadership in the team. And some of the decisions that Karthik made in the first few games added fuel to the fire of the debate surrounding his captaincy. However, today, he was brave in his decision making and it paid rich dividends for his side. He decided to hand the ball to the young Shivam Mavi in the powerplay overs and he repaid his captain’s faith with, ironically, the wicket of the dangerous Gambhir. He kept bowling a nagging line at the left handers, Gambhir and Rishabh Pant, who were struggling to come to terms with the raw pace of the youngster. Even the incoming Glenn Maxwell, who is used to facing world class pacers struggled to time his shots against the youngster. In the two overs that he bowled in the powerplay, Mavi conceded just 14 runs which allowed Karthik to save Kuldeep and Narine for the middle overs and not risk them getting attacked in the first six. That proved to be the difference in the game as the spinning duo took just five overs between them to take DD from 113/5 to 129/10. Not only does this speak very highly of the bowling attack’s talent but also of Karthik’s ability to come up with a proper plan for one of the best batting orders in the league. 

Rishabh Pant’s inexperienced innings proves why he is not ready to replace MSD

When Rishabh Pant walked into the Eden Gardens today, he knew his side were in deep trouble having lost two wickets in no time. And he was at the non-striker’s end with he saw Gambhir depart as well which meant that the onus was now on him. With the required run rate above 10 runs an over, it was always going to be a challenge. However, the young Indian star started off in a way that would have made the Eden crowd nervous. By the end of the powerplay overs, Pant had ensured that Delhi were right there as far as the required run rate was concerned. Scoring 43 off 26 balls, he was the man who was supposed to guide Delhi to the promised land but alas, his inexperience came to the fore again. Maxwell had already scored five runs on the first two balls when Pant decided to go after a Kuldeep short ball and found Chawla on the fence. Had he shown a little more composure, Delhi might have been able to bring the game close and who knows, even win it. It is high time that the youngster starts showing more maturity while chasing a big score.

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