With Delhi Capitals missing the star duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, CSK was up against a second-string DC pace attack and they made the most of it with their batting. However, bowling, their stronger suite last year, was completely dismantled by Delhi Capitals as they made a mockery of 189.
Match report in a Tweet
Another game at the Wankhede, another flat wicket, nothing much for the bowlers, and it was Delhi Capitals' batting, which turned a stiff chase into a no-contest. CSK, had fought back strongly after a dismal batting start but the bowlers had no answers to Shaw-Dhawan's stand.
Where Chennai lost the game
It was the grand opening stand between Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan that stunned the Chennai Super Kings. DC openers launched an unrelenting attack on Dhoni's men. It started with the power play mayhem as Shaw-Dhawan added the highest score in the first six overs by DC against CSK in IPL's history.
Old ghosts resurface for CSK
Chennai Super Kings, powerplay overs - it's a foolproof disaster. Last year, CSK had the fourth-worst average per wicket in the first six overs, not to forget their strike-rate of 111.31, the poorest among all teams. It’s a new edition of the cash-rich league, team’s work out their weaknesses, come back stronger, better but CSK hit the same roadblock again, and were instantly on the backfoot. The emergence of Ruturaj Gaikwad and his growing partnership with Faf du Plessis had ignited hopes of a resurgence. But, a lot of things happened between the end of the last season and the commencement of the 2021 IPL. Faf du Plessis' struggle for runs, also Ruturaj Gaikwad's mediocre SMAT 2020/21, to name a few. And some testing bowling from DC didn't let the pair accumulate more than five runs amongst them, yes, the second-string DC pace bowling. Back to square one, CSK, eh?
R Ashwin fails to deliver......again
Last year when R Ashwin was supposed to be a wicket-taker, the premier spinner for Delhi Capitals, he aced economical bowling. Today, when he needed to ace the last year's job of bowling tightly, on a flat wicket, with an attacking Amit Mishra already there and no Axar Patel in the side, he copped heavy pasting. Precisely going for 47 runs in four overs at 11.80 per over. He was smashed by the CSK batsmen for fun and his limitations as a finger spinner were out there in the open again. Yes, the same spinner, who was considered a one-stop solution for all of India's white-ball woes after the England series. But, once the CSK batsman went on the attack, as harsh as it may sound, the offie looked as clueless as a few years back, whenever he was put under the pump. He has a lot of experience under his belt, so not like he was bowling on a flat pitch like Wankhede for the first time, still the lack of adaptability from a veteran like him was disappointing.
A power-packed opening display for Delhi Capitals
One of the biggest issues for Delhi Capitals last year was that they were scoring 42.17 runs on average in the field restrictions and were averaging the third-worst of all teams per wicket. But cometh the opening encounter of the 2021 IPL and the opening pair of Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan went bang, bang. Chasing 189, they showcased the kind of intent that's required to ace such chases. Prithvi Shaw, who was a walking wicket, a few months back, after the VHT exploits, came out with all guns blazing and was nailing every shot as if in a trance zone. Shikhar Dhawan complimented him too, and started from where he had left last season, as he also batted with an effortlessness and a chutzpah of his own. They plundered 65 in the powerplay and smashed all the bowlers with utmost ease, bringing the run-rate under control and setting up a great platform for an opening win for the Delhi-based franchise with a hundred-run-stand.
Drop Rayudu, open with Moeen Ali
One of the most remarkable things about CSK's playing XI today was the fact that they batted deep. Till 10, to be precise, with a dangerous Shardul Thakur batting there. Now, when CSK doesn't have any issues with batting depth, they can do with adding an extra bowler. Moreover, it will help them utilize someone like Moeen Ali effectively. The English southpaw was one of the game changers today as he shifted the momentum of the game with his big-hitting. Moeen smoked 36 off 24 and it wasn't a one-off. He strikes at 138.6 in the first six overs while his average is also great at 33.8 in T20 cricket. And his middle-overs SR goes a notch higher with the left-hander striking at 171.1. CSK can drop down Faf du Plessis to the middle-order and open with Moeen. Not like the team needs Ambati Rayudu's services as much with the return of form for Suresh Raina and more than able finishers in Sam Curran and Ravindra Jadeja.
The MVP - Prithvi Shaw
When you are in top form, cash in as much as you can. This was the mantra for Prithvi Shaw today as he took all the frustration of not scoring runs in the last few months on the hapless Chennai Super Kings bowlers. The Mumbaikar, at the Wankhede, took fifth gear start, striking at 200 in the powerplay, and he just kept on hammering the CSK bowlers without breaking a sweat. If there were any doubts over his VHT runs, he smashed them, in some style today.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Failed to match expectations
It was supposed to be an exciting game with MS Dhoni taking on his protege Rishabh Pant's Delhi Capitals. It started off slowly as CSK had a dismal start, after which the match picked up some pace with power hitting from the Men in Yellow. Now, the match was nicely set-up. DC were set a stiff target but then Delhi made it a one-sided game with CSK bowlers hardly challenging their batsmen, that it became more like how fast would the game finish than how close it would go. Decent buzz, if anything.