After winning the toss, KL Rahul took no more than one second to decide that they were batting first, which eventually culminated in them scoring 178 runs, on the back of Rahul's 63. However, CSK’s 'intent' was quite clear, as expressed by Fleming, Watson and Faf as they cashed in for a win.
CSK’s powerplay charm is fading fast
Last season, with Deepak Chahar in the ranks early on, Chennai Super Kings had a dream season, where they picked up the most wickets on an average in the powerplay while picking 1.78 wickets in the phase with an average of 48 runs, which was sixth-best in the league last season. This time around, they have got off to the right start in terms of conceding fewer runs in the first six overs but it has had a direct impact on the wickets that they take in the first six overs, which is just four from the first four games that they have played. The only difference for them between this season and the last season was that they had conditions where the spin bowlers could be effective in the middle but here they don’t, which has made a direct impact on their results, where they have been unable to restrict the opposition to a chaseable total three times out of the four games.
Stephen Fleming’s ‘worried’ range of emotions
Twelve seasons of IPL, yet none have ever seen CSK coach Stephen Fleming so animated, angry, worried or reacting in such a way before this particular encounter. It all kicked-off in the pre-match press conference where the pertinent question about CSK’s top three, MS Dhoni’s batting position or Kedar Jadhav’s role in the team, irked the former Kiwi skipper and it culminated in the encounter against KXIP where his frustration was quite visible with the team’s performance. As they say, luck doesn’t favour the brave and the men in Yellow were not quite brave enough in their approach early on in the innings, with misfields, dropped catches and edgy-bowling. It shows how much it means for the franchise, probably for the first time in a lot of years, where the tables have turned against them and the tide has become quite a wave. Fleming is feeling it, MS Dhoni is feeling it and certainly, CSK are feeling it, sitting at the bottom of the IPL table. Boy, was it all worth it tonight?
Kings XI Punjab's best XI is here
Kings XI Punjab had quite a few changes - three in total before this game which only meant that their intent was quite clear, they needed a precious win to keep their boat afloat. For the game against CSK, they went in with three fresh faces in the form of Mandeep Singh, Harpreet Brar and Chris Jordan instead of a struggling Jimmy Neesham. Mandeep’s influence on the game was clearly visible when he walked out to bat at No.3, scoring a precious 27 off just 16 deliveries, with two sixes to get the ball rolling. With Harpreet Brar, they have two spinners who could turn the ball away from the CSK batsmen, making their match-up crystal clear. A do-or-die for them and this is the approach that they took while MS Dhoni still persisted with the same XI for the second game in a row.
Chennai ‘Intent’ Super Kings
Finally, it’s here and you are as excited as a young kid waiting for his toy. After the game against Mumbai Indians, the intent at the top of the order was gone missing for a long dinner or lunch, whatever way you look at it. With Shane Watson and Murali Vijay at the top, their approach created a ripple effect, which then put the entire pressure on the middle-order headed by Faf du Plessis’ tagged legs. While the Proteas did make an impact with his willow, the asking rate and everything was way beyond plausible control. However, this time there was a change, quite clear in Fleming’s eyes, Ravindra Jadeja’s fall-out with Kedar Jadhav and CSK’s opening pair. The opening pair ensured that the Men in Yellow got off to a positive start, putting up 100 runs for the total as Watson and Faf cashed in on Punjab’s bowling unit.