Owing to a 14-run last over, Delhi Capitals found themselves securing a just-par total in Chennai, scoring 159/4 after winning the toss. Despite Kane Williamson’s 66* off 51 taking it to the super over, the decision to not bat Jonny Bairstow ultimately cost the Sunrisers a possible victory.
Where Sunrisers Hyderabad lost the game
Despite dragging the game to super over, Sunrisers Hyderabad gave themselves very little chance of winning when they decided to open with David Warner and Kane Williamson, especially when Jonny Bairstow was available and, more importantly, had already hit four sixes in the game. Now if that is not where they lost the game, I really don’t know where! Bad move, bad captaincy and one Australian, David Warner!
The Shaw keeps going on this IPL
Delhi’s opening pair has indeed been the major cause of their wins thus far, forget the bowlers from last season. This season, the duo have already combined to score 420 runs for the franchise, all of them valuable runs coming in winning cause for the Capitals. The major reason behind it being their ability to understand and match each other’s game. While Shaw has had slow starts from one end, Shikhar Dhawan has turned aggressor and when Dhawan has had a slow start, Shaw has turned into the aggressor. Tonight, it was Shaw, who took on the bowlers in the powerplay, starting the innings with three consecutive boundaries, and made a real statement performance in Chennai, a surface that is often sticky in nature. In fact, after the first ten overs, Shaw had a control percentage of 84. After the disastrous tour in Australia, Shaw has really worked on his technique, which has been evident in the IPL thus far, in fact, more than before. Not just that, the Mumbaikar didn’t put a foot wrong, which is what got the Delhi Capitals off to a flying start in Chennai. His dismissal too was rather unfortunate with Rishabh Pant ball-watching.
Delhi Capitals got their batting order terribly wrong
Rishabh Pant walks in, Steve Smith follows, two anchors in the middle as Delhi are trying to get themselves a great finish against SRH. There are bad tactics, very bad ones and then there is giving the duo of Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis, a combined over to leave their mark. They got seven balls to make an impact. Now, this is where we are not one bit being cynical because Delhi’s approach was terrible. In fact, it was unfathomable that Delhi would have at least promoted one of Hetmyer or Stoinis to target the slower bowlers before they could have called the services of Steve Smith. They were not in any kind of trouble, none whatsoever. Having reached 84 within 12 overs, there was no reason that Delhi was targeting a score anywhere below 160, on a surface that becomes slower as the night progresses. Pant was dismissed for a 27-ball 37 and Smith remained unbeaten, with a 25-ball 34 as Stoinis could only face two deliveries. In fact, Sunrisers dropped Smith once during the innings, which shows that Delhi’s approach arguably could be the telling difference between a win and loss for them.
Kane Williamson remains integral to this SRH setup
When SRH picked Jonny Bairstow over Kane Williamson, there was a real doubt whether the Kiwi star would get an opportunity to feature in the playing XI sometime this season. But all of those calls pointed out at Bairstow missing out from the team. However, SRH found a way to feature all of the three foreign stars at the top of the order. Williamson, in particular, has shown that he remains integral to this SRH setup. In the 2020 IPL, the right-hander scored 317 runs, in 11 games, averaging 45.3 and striking it at 133.8. So when it came to the 2021 season, Williamson not featuring in the line-up caused a shock. But since the right-hander has been picked, he has scored 67 runs off 61 balls, showing the franchise why he is important, especially with David Warner and Bairstow playing as aggressors in the lineup. However, it comes with a downside, SRH’s bowling takes a dire impact, because of fielding Williamson as Warner, Bairstow and Rashid Khan are ultimately indispensable. Now they have four foreign stars, who are indispensable in the lineup but with a lot of issues on the other end.
Sunrisers Hyderabad were wrong in axing Manish Pandey
As much as we have all called for Manish Pandey’s head this season, he is one of the most experienced Indian stars in the outfit, which makes this topic extremely dicey. A top three of Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow, and David Warner is as good as it gets but when it goes horribly wrong, the middle-order - Virat Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar and Abhishek Sharma - reads very weakly. Now they are not poor players, don’t get me wrong there but not having Manish Pandey really makes no sense. Yes, he has been terrible with his strike rate but holding one end of the fort has been his forte, which has been something that Sunrisers would miss, especially considering they have stacked their top-order with superstars. Last season, Kedar Jadhav scored 62 runs off 66 deliveries, at a strike rate of 93.93. In comparison, Pandey scored 425 runs with a strike rate of 127.62. There is no possible explanation for this bizarre decision but whichever way, Sunrisers should opt to play Manish Pandey on slow surfaces. Otherwise, things could horribly go wrong, like today. Oh, by the way, Virat Singh, who walked into the team, scored a 14-ball 4, so who is getting sacked next?
MVP - Prithvi Shaw
On a surface that was horribly leaning against the batsmen, Prithvi Shaw stood up, weathered the storm and put on a show in Chennai with a 39-ball 53. Throughout his innings, the right-hander was proactive in getting the important runs, impressing even against Rashid Khan, with seven boundaries and one six in the innings. Shaw returns, not just as a Delhi player but as an MVP for them.
Match Frenzy O Meter - End of Chennai with a super over
As much as we could define it as good, bad or ugly, it is better that we call this match, the end of Chennai. While Chennai isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it seemed like it was a terrible pitch for the batsmen, who looked clueless in these conditions, including Steve Smith. That was today as well, with the ground living up to its slow and deadly reputation. The match followed that tone throughout, with only Kane Williamson and Jonny Bairstow really having any kind of impact on the surface, that read borrrrrringggggg. But wait, instant karma, with the match ending in a super over, wow Suchith, wow.