Two teams having won only two matches, KKR and CSK took on each other in a match that ended in KKR's favour despite CSK having the match in their pocket for most of the time. While Rahul Tripathi starred with 51-ball 81 for KKR, Karn Sharma with 2/25 was the pick of the bowlers for CSK.
KKR can use Rahul Tripathi as an opener
The humongous decision of doing away with Sunil Narine as the opener was finally made and Rahul Tripathi was sent to open along with Shubman Gill. Tripathi, who has played the majority of the games in IPL as an opener, was presented with the opportunity after he displayed that he was in good touch at number 8 in the previous match, scoring 16-ball 36. This change was much needed to change the dynamics of the batting lineup, which when put to bat was already one down, putting unnecessary pressure on the middle order. Tripathi, too, did himself and the fans of KKR huge favour by grabbing the opportunity with both hands, scoring 51-ball 81. He started off his innings from where he left off in the last match, timing the ball as if he had been opening for a while. He dispatched any ball that was pitched around his hitting zone and was respectful to the balls that were well bowled, pacing his innings perfectly.
Dinesh ‘experimental’ Karthik loves Sunil Narine the batsman
When you have Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell sitting in the dugout, why would you not want to send in Sunil Narine at 4? Just to find a batting spot for the Narine, Dinesh ‘experimental’ Karthik sent the spinner at 4 to counter the leg-spinner, Karn Sharma. Narine, too, was playing quite decently, hitting Dwayne Bravo for a six and four. But the cameo couldn’t last long as he tried to hit Karn to the cow-corner and got caught at the boundary by Ravindra Jadeja and Faf du Plessis, who took an amazing relay-catch to dismiss him on 17. Ironically, Narine got out to the bowler that he was sent out to hit against. This is after the fact that Karthik persisted with Narine at the top but after the failure of his experiment, he had to find him another place to bat. Looks like Karthik has seen Narine play a blinder in the nets which others are not aware of or just another experiment that has failed for him this season.
Ambati Rayudu is the real MVP of CSK
After the win against Mumbai, where Ambati Rayudu scored match-winning 48-ball 71, many things did not change for CSK, but their most important player Rayudu was injured, after which they lost three matches on the trot. Rayudu did return in the game against SRH, but he failed to make an impact as he got out for 8. Such is Rayudu’s influence on the team that when he fails the whole batting lineup struggles. In the presence of Rayudu, openers, too, get a free hand as they are able to play their natural game without worrying about the middle order. In this match, he played sensibly, according to the merit of the ball, and consolidated brilliantly in the middle before getting out on 27-ball 30. He is the glue that binds the batting lineup together with his consistent performances, making him the most valued player of the franchise, at least in the batting department, despite the presence of Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, and MS Dhoni.
Kamlesh Nagarkoti is a class act
Nagarkoti, who finally was able to make his KKR debut this season after missing out on IPL for two consecutive seasons due to injuries, has completely justified the decision of KKR to retain him despite not playing. Although he has taken just 4 wickets in the 4 matches he has played so far, he has looked quite good whenever Karthik has trusted him with the ball. Against CSK, he again started off decently, bowling in the right areas, without giving any room to the batsmen. In his first spell, he went for 19 runs in 2 overs, after he was brought on when the powerplay was over. However, he came back with a match-changing over, picking up the all-important wicket of Rayudu on the first ball of his third over, breaking the cruising run of CSK towards the target. He ended with the figures of 1/21 in 3 overs. Nagarkoti, at this young age, looks to define the saying “Injuries are temporary, Class is permanent”.