While Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi played out of their skins to win their respective clashes against Hyderabad, Punjab and Kolkata respectively, some players failed to impress. After the first of the weekend double-headers, we are finally looking at what went wrong for the franchises, who lost.
Mumbai Indians thrash a panicked Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers’ panicky team selection
Two games into the season and the Orange Army has already started throwing the spanner out of the window, with their changes. Some even suggest that they could have Kane Williamson traded in the mid-season window to a capable franchise. Well with Sunrisers, all of that looks possible plus the fact that they have struggled to find an optimal position for Jonny Bairstow in two years makes things even worse. David Warner and Rashid Khan form two of Sunrisers important components with the bat and the ball, but what about the other two? Last game, they used Mujeeb ur Rahman and Jonny Bairstow but is Mujeeb a necessity? That’s where it breaks down to as last year, Jason Holder was deemed a sure-shot starter and this year he's been dropped to the bench after just a single outing. For heaven’s sake, Sunrisers, please find your playing XI and I’m not going to give you any sort of Kiwi-hint.
Rahul Chahar’s monumental form
If the first week of the 2021 IPL spelt doom to the Indian spinners, the second week has rather sprung up a new surprise, with both Rahul Chahar and Yuzvendra Chahal performing. While Chahal showed glimpses of his form, Chahar outshone his counterpart, with a show of his life, picking up seven wickets in two games in Chennai, amidst all the roars and upset cries over Indian spinners. Let’s not forget, the leg-spinner also became an integral part of the Indian outfit earlier against England, after Chahal played the initial three T20Is, which suggests that Chahar is on the right track. With Mumbai playing two more games at the venue, Chahar would not only hope to increase the ‘W’ on the bowling column but also keep up his economy rate, which currently spells a world-class 6.2.
Royal Challengers Bangalore thwart a terrible Kolkata show
Virat Kohli’s lean form as an opener
Since that famous speech, two things have happened rather brilliantly, Rohit Sharma has picked up the pace and Shikhar Dhawan has picked up form, two important things for the bigger scheme of things. But one thing that has really erred in the past week is Virat Kohli’s promised batting display at the top of the order. Now I’m not a very humorous person but looking at how Kohli has approached his batting was rather funny. In three games, the Indian skipper has scored 71 runs as an opener - averaging 23.66 and striking it at 110.93 - having faced 64 deliveries. Now if KL Rahul’s approach was - is and will always be - rendered bad, what possible explanation prevents the same application to Kohli?
The decline of the Eoin Morgan show
With the bat, at the toss and of course, during the game, Eoin Morgan’s show has indeed declined to a level it seems impossible to believe that he has won a World Cup. Don’t be so harsh, you say? Well, even a sane person that you replaced as the skipper wouldn’t have made a blunder like bowling Harbhajan Singh in the death overs. Granted that he conceded just 20 runs off his three overs, giving him the ball in the 19th over against AB de Villiers and Kyle Jamieson was like giving a bone to a dog, it will always make you pay for it. He conceded just 18 but in the larger scheme of things, Morgan’s captaincy in the afternoon encounter was debatable. This is just part one, though. Morgan’s batting display was the ultimate horror show. This year, he has scored 38 runs, averaging 12.66 at 115, with 29 of those runs coming in Sunday’s clash. 29 off 23, chasing 205, you decide!
Shikhar Dhawan helps DC thrash KL Rahul-led PBKS
Shikhar Dhawan is what KL needs to be
Every time you look at KL Rahul, there is one part of you that says unfulfilled potential and the other part which still believes he is one of the best all-formats players. Whichever part of your body said that should just be cut right now and put in saline water. KL Rahul played one of the worst knocks of this IPL, yes even worse than that mosquito-bat-swat from Ambati Rayudu. Despite Mayank getting off to a crazy start, Rahul was slowly destroying his side’s chances, socring just 24 off his first 23 balls, which eventually culminated in a 51-ball 61. On the other hand, Shikhar Dhawan, the man who was dropped after one bad display, scored a 49-ball 92, with his strike-rate for the season reading 163.15. Talk about intent from an opener. Strike rate isn’t overrated, time for the masses to understand that!
Mohammed Shami shows worry more than a promise
Mohammed Shami’s form this season is a bigger worry than some of the other things combined and why do I say that? He’s picked up four wickets, out of which two have come in the same over against Chennai Super Kings, where they had already raced off to a win and there was no chance of Punjab making a comeback. When it mattered the most, when experience really mattered the most, Shami failed to deliver, putting on one of his worst displays in the competition. Dew is certainly a factor that can take you by the horn and surprise you but 4 overs for 53 runs from your experienced bowler is just terrible. That’s where everything really comes down, including the roof. Four wickets might look pretty on paper but considering how he has got them, Mohammed Shami really has shown more worry than any kind of promise. On the contrary, there is Arshdeep Singh who has come on his own this season, bowling at the death and picking up crucial wickets. Be like Arshdeep!