This weekend was extremely weird, teams started chasing totals within 15 overs, Net Run-rates and of-course the meltdown of two franchises - Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore. On top of that, Mumbai Indians’ dominating show has now put franchises into a state of concern.
Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians
Legends say that Delhi are still picking their best XI
The issue with peaking too early in the competition is that, once you fail, you don’t have much time to react and that is precisely the phase that Delhi Capitals have found themselves in. After winning seven games and getting a foot inside the play-offs alongside Mumbai Indians, Delhi have somehow found multiple ways of choking from varying situations, be it the run-chase or batting first, which has now put their entire season on the line. Against Mumbai, once again, they had three changes - Shaw, Harshal Patel and Pravin Dubey in - which didn’t help them, now putting their entire season on the line against RCB, in a do-or-die encounter. How did they even find themselves in such a situation?
Mumbai are actually looking far more complete without Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is their skipper, opener, their man to lead the team under the extreme of pressure situations but without him, Mumbai Indians have rather looked far more complete as a group. Ishan Kishan-Quinton de Kock at the top have looked more solid and attacking while the middle-order has equally contributed in his absence, with Hardik Pandya taking the responsibility. In terms of leadership, they have an able leader in the form of Kieron Pollard, who has won two games out of three in Rohit’s absence, which meant that things aren’t that bad as the fans initially expected it to be.
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sandeep Sharma vs Virat Kohli - 69 runs, 50 balls, seven dismissals, the joint-most for a bowler against a batsman in IPL history.
In all seriousness, Navdeep Saini with the white-ball is a bad idea
Let’s just put his pace and all that aggression out of the window - now you have a bowler with six wickets, an average of 58 and an economy rate of 8.29. Shouldn’t really be considered as a good bowler, let alone great. In comparison, Deepak Chahar’s bad season - 12 wickets at an average of 32.1 and an economy rate of 7.55 - is miles better. The hype that has surrounded the Saini-train is incredible, despite him just winning the one game for the franchise this season, that too on the back of a poor outing in the super over from the Mumbai Indians. Against Sunrisers, he was exposed yet again, with him showcasing no real change of pace, variations or bringing to the fore the yorker that could dismiss the batsmen.
Jason Holder has solved SRH some problems
Multiple problems, one multiple for multiple solutions - Jason Holder for Sunrisers Hyderabad. In the first half of the season, they were hell-bent on opening with Jonny Bairstow and David Warner to do them the job but it quickly reversed and started hurting them by the game. It was not until the encounter against Kings XI Punjab that Sunrisers realised that they need an all-rounder, who can score a few quick runs and in equal measures, and pick up wickets when it really matters. Enter Jason Holder, exit Chris Morris and Isuru Udana, while only conceding 27 runs. In the second innings, when they were 87/4, he walked in and walked out unbeaten with a 10-ball 26, solving Sunrisers’ dear problems.
Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab
Where was this Deepak Hooda, wonders SRH!
Last year, when SRH needed him the most to finish off games, the right-handed Hooda only scored 64 runs off 63 deliveries, at an average of 10.7 and a strike-rate of 101.76, which only showed he wasn’t quite up to the task. In between the two seasons, after being bought by Kings XI Punjab, has worked immensely on his shots in the off-side, after being dominantly a leg-sided player. This season, he hasn’t got the opportunity thus far to finish off the games, with a plethora of superstars ahead of him in the Punjab batting order, but against CSK, all of them faltered. Once they faltered, it fell on Hooda, who scored a scintillating 30-ball 62 to take KXIP to a respectable score in a must-win encounter.
If Ruturaj doesn’t stay, CSK will suffer finding another opener
Now, the issue with the fan bases at times is how toxic they can get with youngsters and that fueled with the comments from the skipper turns really an ignorant eye for the performing youngsters. Coming into IPL 2020, Ruturaj Gaikwad was terribly criticized for his knock against Rajasthan Royals. However, once he started turning up at the top of the order, things took a dramatic turn, so much so that the cricketing world has turned their eyes towards the right-handed opener for the way he has shaped CSK’s end to the season. With three back to back fifties in the tournament, he has shown the door to Shane Watson and Murali Vijay at the same time, so expect CSK to retain him next season.
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals
Opens calculator, calculates the numbers and still gets confused, 12.5 overs, 13.2 overs or 14.1 overs, whichever the NRR suggests.
Mathematics is indeed tough but supporting these two sides tougher
Ahead of this game, one thing was clear as daylight, the two Kings - KXIP and CSK - were out of the tournament, thanks to CSK’s win earlier in the day. So when these two sides took on each other in the field, it was a weird day of cricketing action. When Kolkata were batting first, it really looked like Rajasthan had no other bowler apart from Jofra Archer who could pick up the wickets early on. When KKR were indeed thunderstruck with Andre Russell’s dismissal, there was Eoin Morgan who came up with the clutch. But in all, the quality of cricket on play seemingly was deceiving, only hyped by the mathematics part of it. In the second innings, Rajasthan never arrived, barring of-course Ben Stokes. As a fan, what exactly am I cheering them for, when they put on never-seen-before show one day and succumb like a young kid looking at chocolate, the very next day?
Thank god the management had faith in Pat Cummins unlike KKR fans
Well to be honest, after the first few games, a lot of fans had already lost faith in the Australian all-rounder and also just taunted his price-tag, as if he demanded such a sum from the franchise for his services. After being bought for Rs 15.5 crores, he has had an underwhelming tournament, which even he is aware of but that’s the sort of confidence you would want from your franchise after you are having a spell of bad games. From there on, he’s already picked up a three-for and four-fer, which only shows that if used correctly and efficiently, which is not bowling him in the death overs, Cummins is a perfect T20 bowler, who still relies on his Test match length and will get you important wickets!