Brief scores: CSK 188/9 (Faf du Plessis 33, Rayudu 27, Sakariya 3/36) beat Rajasthan Royals 143/9 (Jos Buttler 43, Unadkat 24, Ali 3/7, Jadeja 2/28, Curran 2/24)
After suffering a disappointing seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Delhi Capitals in their first game, Chennai Super Kings made an assured comeback in IPL 2021. The yellow army put on an all-around performance to defeat RR by 45 runs on Sunday. This is the second consecutive win for CSK and both have come by significant margins.
Chennai Super Kings’ first innings total of 188 runs was compiled with numerous cameos with Faf du Plessis’ 33 off 17 as the major contribution in terms of slog hitting. Though, it looked like they were 20 runs short, considering the dew factor coming in later. However, this wasn’t the case as the ball turned sharply in the latter half of the innings which helped CSK spinners pick wickets in the middle overs. Chetan Sakariya bowled well for Rajasthan by taking three wickets for 36 runs.
Rajasthan Royals could manage only 143 runs in the second innings and as a result, CSK won the game by a margin of 45 runs.
Read Here: How MS Dhoni fared in his 200th Game for CSK
Here’s a look at three major talking points from the match that concluded yesterday:
Depth in CSK’s batting line-up - A huge positive this year
Chennai Super Kings have a solid batting line up this season - one that you would desire to have in the shortest format. Deepak Chahar bats at number 11 in the current CSK’s batting line up.
Against Rajasthan on Monday, not a single player scored a half-century, yet CSK managed to score 188 in their allotted 20 overs. The depth in their line-up allows the players to go for the big shots right from the start of their innings.
Sam Curran and Dwayne Bravo batting at number eight and nine respectively tell you how dangerous CSK’s batting line-up is. It is certainly going to prove to be effective while chasing big totals and thus is a huge positive for them this year.
Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali spin a web around Rajasthan Royals leading to a mid-innings collapse
Contrary to everyone’s expectations, the pitch offered a lot of turn in the latter half of the second innings. Dew did not prove to be a major factor and the spinners capitalized on this count.
Sam Curran bowled well in the powerplay while sending Manan Vohra and Sanju Samson back to the pavilion in the first six overs. However, Jos Buttler looked unstoppable from the other end while scoring at a strike rate of 140. The Englishman kept Rajasthan in the chase through the first half of the innings.
Ravindra Jadeja hit a six off a no-ball on the last ball of the tenth over. However, there was some turn on offer on that delivery and MS Dhoni was quick to apply spinners from both ends.
Jadeja came back to bowl the 12th over and bowled Buttler out on the very first delivery. He gave away three runs in the next four deliveries before sending Shivam Dube back to the pavilion on the last ball of his over. It saw a turnaround as Rajasthan collapsed in a very quick time after that from 87/2 to 95/7. Moeen Ali bowled the next over and sent David Miller back to the pavilion. He then took the wickets of Riyan Parag and Chris Morris in his next over to seal the game for CSK.
Rajasthan lost all the hopes after that and found themselves 45 runs short in the end. Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali have proved out to be the two biggest assets for CSK right now. The decision to send Ali bat at three has done wonders for CSK. MS Dhoni and Co would hope that the duo keeps performing in a similar fashion going ahead in the tournament.
Sanju Samson- The Inconsistent Superstar
Much like the previous years, a lot of hopes were pinned on Sanju Samson this year as well. He started on a brilliant note with a century in the first game against Kolkata Knight Riders. However, the RR skipper has been silent with the bat, ever since. Today, he got out on the fifth delivery he faced off Sam Curran in the 6th over of the second innings, scoring just one run.
Inconsistency with the bat has again come to haunt him. Knowing the fact that RR don’t have much firepower in the middle order, Samson has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders to keep the team in good stead.
He ought to come up with better performances or the team will face a similar result like the previous years.
See How Dhoni replied when he was questioned about his fitness by Harsha Bhogle in a Post-match presentation at Wankhede.
Questions To Be Answered
1. Chennai will play their next two games at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It remains to be seen if Ngidi will make get a game or CSK will stick to the winning combination.
2. Should RR bring Yashasvi Jaiswal in the eleven?
Manan Vohra hasn’t really done anything significant in the tournament thus far. On the other hand, the rising Indian star, Yashasvi Jaswal has been warming the bench for the last three games. It remains to be seen if RR replaces Vohra with Jaswal in the next game?
What Lies Ahead
CSK have now claimed the second spot on the points table. Their next meeting is with KKR on Wednesday. They would be confident of claiming a win against KKR, which hasn’t done well in the tournament so far.
RR has a lot of issues to rectify. The opening pair, Samson’s inconsistent run and middle-order woes all contribute to the recent losses. They would look to correct the flaws and hope to come up with a better performance ahead of the next game against RCB on Thursday.
1. Dwayne Bravo has become the first player in the IPL history to complete the double of 1,500 runs and 150 wickets.
1. The 12th match of IPL 2021 also marked the 200th game for CSK as captain. With that, MS Dhoni has become the first player to lead a franchise in 200 T20 matches.