After Bairstow’s early wicket, Warner and Pandey took Sunrisers to 128/2 before Williamson and Jadhav’s late cameo took them to 171 after 20 overs. But what was that, CSK? They just turned that total into a joke, with Faf-Gaikwad combining to score 129 runs as CSK won by seven wickets.
Where Sunrisers lost the game
David Warner’s knock cost Sunrisers Hyderabad an important win, yes, the skipper who has in fact been responsible for an IPL title win and multiple important victories for the franchise, cost them a win over CSK. Yes, the surface was slow, yes Chennai were bowling well but Warner scored a 55-ball 57, which was far worse than Rishabh Pant’s innings a night ago. His innings was well the difference between a win and loss for Sunrisers. Sorry Warner, two losses on you mate.
Manish-sized rescue for the Sunrisers Hyderabad
At the post-match presentation, after SRH’s loss to Delhi Capitals, skipper David Warner admitted that it was probably not the best decision to drop Manish Pandey from the playing XI. It was the second straight game that the right-hander had missed this season for the franchise. Their middle-order, in his absence, looked terrible, lacking any kind of experience around Kane Williamson. In the clash against Delhi, the middle-order around Williamson scored a combined 26 runs, at a strike rate of well under 70. So it was a no-brainer that SRH would directly slot him at No.3, an area where he has shown his worth in the past, scoring runs for fun. Today, after a quick wicket, the right-hander walked in at 22/1 and scored a boundary off just his second delivery. The intent was clear, the message from the dressing room too, go get the runs at a brisk pace. He did that exactly for the franchise, with two boundaries off his seven deliveries, with a 91% control. When Warner was still on 38 off 43 deliveries, the Karnataka batsman had already raced to 33 off 24 deliveries, striking it at 137.5. On a surface, where Warner’s innings was hurting the franchise, Manish was bailing them out of trouble.
When Faf du Plessis walked in as CSK’s opener, there was a doubt, whether the move was a required one, whether they didn’t have another option at the top of the order. But the way Faf has adapted himself as an opener in the IPL, especially for the Super Kings, there has been no other opener in the past two years. In fact, this season, the right-handed batsman averages 86.66, his highest batting average in any T20 tournament. Not just that, his impact in the powerplay is next to none, on par with Prithvi Shaw, who has scored 136 runs in the first six-over phase in the tournament. Over 13 games last year, the right-hander scored 449 runs, at an average of 40.81, with a strike rate of 140.75. In fact, this season, he has not only substantially improved on his average, which currently reads 88.66 but the strike rate also improved over the last two years, from 123.36 to 142.24. Faf really stands integral to CSK’s chances of recapturing the IPL title.
Sunrisers got it all wrong, starting from the toss
After winning the toss, David Warner uttered those magical words, ‘We will bat first’ a decision that in hindsight, he will now dearly regret. This wasn’t a bat-first wicket, nope not even one bit, Warner. In fact, if there is one thing that the Sunrisers should have learnt from their losses in Chennai, that is dew does play a massive role, in conditions where there is a good level of humidity. In Delhi, there was the humidity, in fact, it was at the level where the Sunrisers spinners really struggled to grip the ball. In fact, barring the odd delivery from Rashid Khan, no deliveries really turned a long way, which set up the victory for the Super Kings. On a surface, where their spinners would have got a lot of purchase in the first innings, Warner’s decision after winning the toss tilted the game against them.
Chennai Super Kings need to give Shardul Thakur a ‘break’
By a break, we mean that Shardul Thakur should be out of the playing XI, starting from their next clash in Delhi. After having impressed all over the world, in the last year, Shardul has been nothing but a shadow of himself in the ongoing edition of the IPL, where he has just accounted for four wickets. Two of those four wickets have come in the opening fixture against Delhi Capitals. Since that, the pacer has just picked up two wickets, with an average of 52.75 and a strike rate of 32.7 but more importantly, conceding 9.66 RPO. In a bowling unit, filled with superstar names, Shardul looks like the ‘weak’ one out, which hasn’t cost the franchise yet but if they don’t make a move, it might as well start costing them. Now, who is the replacement you ask? That’s where it is pertinent to know that Chennai have two able, out and out pacers in the setup, rather than sitting on the bench. KM Asif and Harishankar Reddy, two pacers who have both picked up six and seven wickets each are more than able options. Not just that, like Avesh Khan, has done it time and again for Delhi this season, the two above options could work out for CSK, providing them with an edge in the middle-overs. Time for a change, Dhoni!
MVP - Ruturaj Gaikwad
Sorry, Faf, you might have the Orange Cap, which looks nice by the way, we have to give this MVP award to Ruturaj Gaikwad. After three failures in the season, he has come back to prime form, with three knocks of sublime nature. Today’s 44-ball 75 was just the epitome of his ability, that too against Rashid Khan, at a strike rate of 170.45. Phew!
Match Frenzy O Meter - Gruesome
David Warner is easily one the most graceful modern-day players but even for a player of his calibre, the pitch showed him who is the boss! Today, the Australian was a perfect representation of how the match went about - gruesome, painful and frustrating - especially in the middle-overs. If not for Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson and Kedar Jadhav, it would have been a really painful sight, sorry guys! But the second innings, wow, that was some hitting from Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis, phew!