In what will be remembered as arguably the biggest bottle-job in modern T20 history, Eoin Morgan’s Kolkata Knight Riders pulled off the choke of the decade to lose yet again to Mumbai Indians. Needing 31 off 30 balls with six wickets in hand, KKR threw the game to hand MI a 10-run win.
Match Report in a Tweet
Two teams tried their best to lose the game but eventually it was Kolkata who won ‘losing the game’. MI repeated their batting performance from the RCB game, and KKR somehow outdid Mumbai’s tomfoolery to lose yet another encounter versus the Blues.
Where Kolkata lost the game
With their inexplicable batting in the second half of the chase. Who throws away a game needing 31 off 30 with six wickets in hand? Good lord, KKR.
Are Chennai-bound teams watching Pat Cummins? They should
Kyle Jamieson showed the way in match one - how to bowl in Chennai, that is - but what Pat Cummins has managed to achieve in the span of 3 days has been remarkable. 1/30 and 2/24 in back-to-back matches against the likes of Bairstow, Rohit, Pandya, Pollard and SKY is no joke and he’s not just kept the runs down, but been all over the batters. What’s interesting to note is how Cummins has gone about his business. His plan has been simple - to bang the ball into the surface at a length between good and short and vary the pace occasionally. Cummins’ height, coupled with the sticky nature of the wicket, has made it excruciatingly difficult for batsmen, in particular right-handers, to deal with the good-length deliveries. For all the talk about Chennai and spin, it’s been the pacers who bowl a ‘heavy ball’ that have made a difference. Perhaps this could open the eye of a team like SRH, that could - and should - now ponder drafting in Jason Holder, who could cause similar problems to batsmen. Spin in IPL 2021 is a scam.
Varun Chakravarthy has the tendency to stray a tad too short - could teams exploit it?
With every game, Varun Chakravarthy is making fans of the Indian national team cry. Not just because he is thaaaaat good, but also because he conveniently looks like the best spinner the country has to offer. The crying part is because he’s been deliberately kept out of the Indian side for ‘fitness reasons’. That’s a discussion for later but today the Tamil Nadu man bowled yet another outstanding spell, returning figures of 1/27. But there could be a slight chink that, going forward, teams could look to pounce on - he tends to stray a tad too short too often. The second ball of his spell - a half-tracker - was pulled by Rohit to the boundary, but, for some reason, the MI batsmen, post that hit, stopped rocking to the backfoot to Varun, despite the bowler straying short consistently. This chink was, in fact, exploited excellently - albeit temporarily - in KKR’s first game by Baristow and Pandey, who both dispatched Varun to the mid-wicket boundary on multiple occasions by anticipating the length. Of course, there is every chance that we’re headed towards a cul-de-sac, but Varun’s pitch-map from the first two games indicate that there might be a very small chink in his armor.
Mumbai’s utilization of Bumrah has been questionable
We know what the template in IPL 2020 was. Mumbai, thanks to Boult operating in ‘God Mode’, utilized Bumrah exactly when they wanted, sometimes not more than once in the first 12 overs. But it looks like they’re still stuck in 2020. Today, in dire need of early wickets, defending a mere 152, Rohit threw the ball to Bumrah just once in the first 10 overs, that too in the 4th over. This would have been alright last season, but with Boult struggling for form, and with an inexperienced Jansen being the third seamer, Mumbai holding Bumrah back is an imprudent move that is explicitly defensive. Today was, mind you, the second consecutive instance of Mumbai deploying Bumrah puzzingly as in the encounter versus RCB, Rohit did not bring the right-armer back for a second spell until after Maxwell had faced 21 balls. It’s time MI realize that there is no point holding Bumrah back when defending low totals.
Hot Take Zone
Prasidh Krishna is being carried by hype - there is no reason for him to start over Shivam Mavi
Okay, make no mistake, Prasidh Krishna is a pacer that *needs* to be backed and groomed. He possesses a skill-set that only a handful of young bowlers in the world boast. However, in a competition like the IPL, you can only ride on talent and reputation for so long; there needs to come a time when you need to start delivering consistently. The harsh truth is that Prasidh, to date, has done no justice to his continued selection. Into his fourth season now, in 26 games the 25-year-old has averaged 0.80 wickets a game and has an ER of 9.35. We all know he is - and has been - better than his numbers suggest, but his presence is coming at a cost to the side. Today in Chennai, he conceded 42 off his 4 overs at almost 11 RPO whilst the rest of the bowlers combinedly returned an ER of 6.80. That he can bowl a magic ball every now and then which makes you go ‘ooooh’ cannot be denied, but, in the bigger picture, is such a delivery of much use when there are going to be a dozen other freebies dished out? In Shivam Mavi, KKR have an equally potent and much more disciplined bowler waiting to maraud batsmen. One does get a feel that KKR have given-in to the hype train by preferring Prasidh to Mavi, when clearly all the numbers prove that the latter is a much, much better option.
MVP - Pat Cummins
A near-perfect spell. 2/24 against a middle-order comprising a well-set SKY and Rohit, Kishan, Pandya and Pollard is equivalent to a five-fer. Sorry, Dre Russ. You’ll have to wait for your moment.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Average
Was unwatchable for 30 overs, but the lack of intelligence of the KKR batsmen turned an irredeemable snoozefest into a somewhat-interesting contest.