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IPL 2020 | CSK vs RCB: Today I Learnt - Magical tactician Virat Kohli and Shardul Thakur CSK’s X Factor

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Virat Kohli's 'masterclass' ensured an easy win for RCB

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IPL 2020 | CSK vs RCB: Today I Learnt - Magical tactician Virat Kohli and Shardul Thakur CSK’s X Factor

It was a tale of two halves - Royal Challengers Bangalore punishing the CSK bowlers and fielders for plenty of singles, doubles and crucial fours and sixes and a second half, where CSK continued their lacklustre approach. The result was obvious as RCB plummeted their rivals by 37 runs.

CSK is finally looking forward

Since the turn of 2019, when the memories of his knock against Mumbai Indians was finally coming to an end, Kedar Jadhav’s true-face as a batsman was on display and CSK knew it from the first ball. He was slow, he was not a prolific run-scorer and he definitely wouldn’t score a 30 off 12 balls that CSK often requires from him. That’s where the marriage between the two finally came to an end, against Royal Challengers Bangalore, one of the best batting sides in the tournament. What caused it? Jadhav’s strike-rate with his bat is what ultimately caused his downfall and if you listen to Dhoni carefully, he uttered the word ‘intent’ more than any of us. That’s why he was dropped, as a strike-rate of 90.08 in T20s isn’t an achievement that a batsman (read finisher) can be proud of. Neither can he be proud of his batting display during the death overs, which is at 95 while he strikes it even lower at 75 in middle-overs. And now Dhoni has apparently seen it all!

Shardul X-factor to CSK’s bowling

After missing out of the early games this season for the Men in Yellow, MS Dhoni finally looked to Shardul Thakur to replace a foreign ‘seam’ option for the Super Kings as his trusted all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was back. In just his first game, the right-handed pacer was right amongst wickets in the clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad. However, it was after that where Shardul really took-off, with two wickets in the same over to dismiss the in-form KL Rahul and Nicholas Pooran which changed the game for CSK. If you think that was it, he came back in his next game to dismiss the dangerous Andre Russell, making a living for himself with important wickets. Again, it was not the ending as the right-arm pacer came right back at RCB’s star-man AB de Villiers and in-form Devdutt Padikkal to prove his worth to Dhoni yet again. Seven wickets in just four games at an average of 15.85, now WOAH that’s some bowling from him!

Virat Kohli is a magician, even in T20s

We have all seen episodes of a ‘Batting Masterclass’ on BT Sports, Sky Sports and a wide range of YouTube channels, all usually associated with Test matches. However, live in front of millions tuned in to their television was Virat Kohli showcasing an episode of T20 cricket in its flesh. It started off with sharp singles while he was batting alongside Devdutt Padikkal. Soon after that, we watched a careful Kohli, who was just hitting the balls to the deep fielder, snatching doubles like a fox. Just when RCB were reduced to two quick wickets, Kohli held his composure and stayed pretty calm at the crease. And towards the end of the innings, he took off in brilliant fashion, scoring a well-deserved unbeaten 90 off just 52 deliveries. Well, you might think there were a lot of boundaries from his innings but the truth to be told, he pinched 28 singles, 11 doubles and in between, four boundaries and four sixes. Enough said!

Powerplay is Washington Sundar's forte

Finally, finally, for god’s sake, Virat Kohli has found the right way of using Washington Sundar, the player. After two years of lull period for the Tamil Nadu off-spinner, he is finally back amongst both wickets and some scintillating performance in the powerplay, where he’s forcing the top-order batsmen to take the required risk to score the runs. Today was no different, on the back of his spell earlier in the tournament, Kohli once again tossed the ball to the off-spinner against two right-handers to restrict them from scoring runs. While Faf du Plessis was first tempted to score one in the leg-side, he eventually found a way to find the fielder in the deep boundary. Next up was Shane Watson, who just witnessed his partner holing out to the deep. After slapping a boundary to the leg-side, the Australian all-rounder was forced into a false stroke, with the ball leaving the middle-stump flat on the ground. It was clear, this is exactly where Washington Sundar is at his best and this was the approach Kohli took to ensure that he looks at his best.

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