A contest that was being built-up as a ‘four pointer’ ended up making a case for the Super Kings to be deducted points as in what was an atrociously soulless display, Dhoni’s men slumped to a forgettable 7-wicket defeat. Winning the toss, CSK, yet again, put up a questionable batting performance.
CSK 6/10 - Got Jofra Archer’d upfront, and ended up losing Faf, but did well to keep the score ticking. Both Rayudu and Curran showed intent in abundance and dispatched all innocuous deliveries dished out by the seamers. 43/2 is not a disaster, but losing Watson was a body blow.
RR 4/10 - Trust RR to bottle anything and everything, eh? All that was needed heading into a chase of 126 was some sense. Unfortunately, for the nth time this season, their top-order proved that they don’t have any. Uthappa’s ramp today was almost as bad as Sanju’s shot selection versus Chahal. Almost.
CSK 2/10 - Five words: What the heck was that? With their display in the middle-overs, CSK outdid themselves. Yes, they lost both Curran and Rayudu early, but there was no reason for Dhoni and Jadeja to let Tewatia and Gopal register figures of 8-0-32-2. That they ‘scored’ 46 runs off 9 overs in this phase should tell you everything you need to know.
RR 10/10 - 77/0 in the middle seldom warrants the full ten marks, but chasing a modest 126, Buttler and Smith did their job to perfection. A circumspect Smith complimented a rather expressive Buttler to dismantle the CSK bowling slowly but steadily.
RR 10/10 - I mean, out of the 10 points, 9 probably goes to the CSK batters, who did everything they could to ensure they kept the score under 130. Tyagi and Archer were exceptional as usual, but they did nothing special, really. Dhoni and Jadeja brought a rope with them and strangled themselves. Imagine scoring 36 in the final five against a side that is supposed to be the ‘worst death bowling unit’ in the entire IPL. Kudos, CSK.
CSK na/10 - The game was done and dusted by the time the death overs beckoned, so the last five overs of RR’s innings were a mere formality. Nothing much to infer here.
CSK need to ditch the Sam Curran experiment
31 (21), 0 (3) and 22 (25). Fair to say the Sam Curran ‘opening’ experiment has been a proper disaster, thus far. The problem for Curran lies in the fact that, unlike a Narine, he is not a worthless wicket; he just cannot come out swinging and not value his wicket. Today he paid too much respect to the new ball but, unlike the SRH encounter, he was unfortunately not able to catch-up. Thus one wonders if, instead of sending Curran to open and putting pressure on him, CSK would be better off using him as a floater. There, he would have the license to kill unlike at the opener’s slot, where he’s getting bogged down by the responsibility.
Kartik Tyagi is great, but needs to weed out his obsession to bowl short
Kartik Tyagi has fared exceptionally well this season, having taken 6 wickets in 6 games whilst conceding just 8.56 runs per over. But that economy rate would have been in the high 7s had he just curtailed his tendency to time and again bowl short, you know? Right from his debut versus MI, the youngster has had this unhealthy urge to ‘test’ batsmen with short stuff. That is not bad as long as he uses it as a surprise delivery, but right now, Tyagi is suffering from the “Hardik Pandya” syndrome, wherein he is just itching to drop the ball short on a consistent basis. That is just asking for trouble. You have a wonderful yorker and you can generate exquisite movement - just stick to it, lad.
Is Ben Stokes surplus to RR’s requirements?
If Ben Stokes is not going to give his 4 overs, or if he’s going to barely bowl like he did today, is he of real use to this RR side? Monday was exhibit 3,450 of Stokes failing with the bat for RR - in his new-found role of opener, the all-rounder, not for the first time this season, perished inside the powerplay after striking a couple of glamorous boundaries. The failure took his season’s average to 20 and marked the 30th consecutive innings of him not scoring a fifty in RR colours. This begs the question: do RR really need Stokes, (now) a makeshift opener who has not averaged over 20 in the IPL since the 2017 season, if he is only going to bowl sporadically? With Buttler and Smith both back in form, perhaps they’d just be better off either slotting Miller in the middle-order or pairing Oshane Thomas with Archer. As things stand, by batting ‘specialist batsman’ Stokes up top, RR are only wasting an overseas slot.
The double-strike from RR’s spin twins Gopal and Tewatia, of Curran and Rayudu, pretty much sealed the deal for the Royals. From thereon, Dhoni and Jadeja had little idea what they were doing or what they had to do and handed the match on a platter to their counterparts.
Match Frenzy O Meter: Refund-worthy
By far the worst match of this IPL. Served as an insult to the madness that was the weekend. A blessing that these two sides will not meet again this season.