Chennai Super Kings survived a late onslaught from the trio of Russell, DK and Cummins to script their third consecutive win of the season and go top of the IPL 2021 standings. A 100-run win seemed on the cards at one stage, but some monstrous hitting from KKR’s lower-order gave CSK a mighty scare.
Where KKR lost the game
In the powerplay, yet again. With no clear gameplan, the top four of Rana, Gill, Tripathi and Morgan came out swinging like headless chickens and eventually paid the price for the same. Losing 5 wickets inside the powerplay is unacceptable, but doing so at the Wankhede is criminal.
Two seasons on, KKR still have no idea what Kamlesh Nagarkoti is
Remember when the whole of India turned in to watch Kamlesh Nagarkoti make his much-awaited IPL debut last season? That now seems a long, long time ago. Six months on, the once-most-exciting-prospect-in-the-country is now merely another domestic pacer who is very much dispensable. What’s been remarkable, though, is how, even after 11 games, KKR have no set role for the youngster. Is he an enforcer? A new-ball king? A death specialist? No one knows. The number of overs he’s bowled suggests that he, in fact, is a glorified part-timer. Last season, often operating as a fourth, fifth or sixth bowler, Nagarkoti bowled less than three overs per game on average, completing his full quota just twice. Today, replacing Harbhajan, the youngster was brought in to bowl in the 11th over and delivered two insipid overs where he neither looked like a tearaway, nor someone that possesses a bag of skills. It is evident that KKR do not have an iota of clue how to use Nagarkoti, but what’s more worrying is how the youngster looks lost every time he has the ball in his hand.
KKR desperately need Shubman Gill the anchor
A lot of KKR’s plans in 2020 did not make sense but it was evident that they “wanted” Shubman Gill to anchor the innings. He often batted deep into the innings, amassed close to 450 runs and those runs came at a SR of 117.96. They really did not mind him batting slow. What the management instructed Gill to do this season remains unclear, but by the looks of it, it is evident that they’ve given him the green signal to eschew the ‘anchor’ tag. 47 balls is all Gill has faced across four games this season and each of his four dismissals have been instigated by hacks that have gone terribly wrong. Today, the right-hander perished slashing his first ball to third man and his intent on the night was no different to his avatar in the game versus RCB, where he departed trying to take on Jamieson despite having taken 16 runs off the first four balls of the Kiwi’s over. We know Gill has it in him to turn into a no-nonsense opener, but the question is, can KKR afford it? With Rana blowing hot-and-cold - like he always does - and with them boasting a completely out-of-form middle-order, the ploy to ask Gill to not put a price on his wicket seems detrimental to the side. As things stand, stability in batting seems non-existent so perhaps the need of the hour for KKR is to ask Gill to revert back to his conservative style in order to prevent the batting from imploding.
Hot take zone
KKR need to do away with Rahul Tripathi as their #3
After moving him up and down the order last season, KKR have reserved the No.3 spot for Rahul Tripathi this season but with every passing game its becoming evident that he simply does not have the quality to sustain the excellence. He played a match-winning hand versus SRH, yes, but that’s about it. His three scores have since read 5(5), 25(20) and 8(9) and he, like several of his teammates, every time walks out to bat with no plan and ends up delivering half-baked knocks that serves little purpose to the side. It is evident that KKR’s middle-order needs bolstering thus with Narine back in the frame of things, it wouldn’t be the worst of ideas to move the West Indian back to the top and split the Rana-Gill duo by moving the latter back to No.3. Tripathi might still have a place in the side as a floater, but deploying him as a full-time #3 is a big no-no at this point in time.
Deepak Chahar. 4/29 in any T20 match is outrageous, but to return those figures at the Wankhede is akin to taking an 8-fer in a Test match. Chahar has well and truly rediscovered his new-ball mojo that made him unplayable two seasons ago, and he's going to run through many a top order in the games to come should there be a tinge of movement on offer.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Super Fun
Watching this encounter after an unwatchable Punjab vs Hyderabad game was like switching from a 7.00 PM soap-opera to Mad Max: Fury Road. No matter how much the purists cry, it is a fact that run-fests in T20s are better than ‘low-scoring thrillers’, and this game had everything. There was a remarkable new ball spell from Chahar, there was some utterly delightful batting from the CSK openers, sixes galored and the Dre Russ special turned out to be the icing on the cake. “Entertainment max”, you could say.