Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 190/3 (Dhawan 85, Shaw 72) beat Chennai Super Kings 188/7 (Raina 54, Khan 2/23) by 7 wickets.
As a CSK fan, you don’t want to see the franchise struggling for another season. However, things aren’t looking too bright for the franchise, as of now. Chennai Super Kings haven’t made an ideal start to IPL 2021, having lost their opening game against Delhi Capitals by seven wickets on Saturday.
The comeback man - Suresh Raina - did give the requisite impetus to CSK and helped his side post a formidable 188-run total on the board. However, Delhi Capitals’ openers made a mockery of CSK bowlers in the second half of the game, making it a walk in the park for them at the end.
On that note, let’s quickly dive into the three talking points of the second game of IPL 2021 between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals:
Three Reasons why CSK lost the game against DC
1. It would be fair to say that CSK exhibited below par fielding standards. Prithvi Shaw was dropped twice during his rollicking 38-ball 72. Dhawan too got a reprieve off Bravo, though it was a half-chance. Nevertheless, had the catches been taken, the match could have gone either way.
2. CSK did well to get to 188 in the first innings. However, with dew coming in later in the innings and considering the way DC openers batted, Dhoni and Co should have fancied the 200-run mark to make it a grueling contest.
3. Let’s be honest, CSK bowlers looked clueless on Saturday. The ball was swinging early. There weren’t a lot of balls that were pitched in the right areas. Given that they play their next four games on the same ground, the bowlers must come up with better plans.
Delhi Capitals’ openers, Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan put on an exhibition of high-class batting against Chennai Super Kings on Saturday. The duo reminded everyone of the approach one needs in the shortest format.
Both the batsmen batted aggressively and tore apart CSK’s bowling line-up. The duo went after the bowlers from the onset and produced boundaries all around the park. In-form Shaw scored 72 runs off 38 balls, including 9 fours and 3 sixes. Dhawan too continued his fine-run with Delhi Capitals, scoring 85 off 54 balls, a knock which was studded with 10 fours and 2 sixes. Dhawan was heralded as the Man of the Match for his sterling effort. It would surprise some as Shaw also batted with a plan in the match.
Rishabh Pant, the captain, off to a flyer!
On his debut game as captain against his idol, Rishabh Pant would be happy with how the result unfolded on Saturday. The 23-year-old garnered praise for rotating the bowlers well and not having conceded a score above 200, given the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Ishant Sharma weren’t even playing the game. Also, Ravichandran Ashwin too had an off day. Despite all that, CSK were restricted to 188 on a batting paradise.
Questions To Be Answered
Sending Moeen Ali at number three instead of Suresh Raina raised a lot of eyebrows. Was it only for just a game or will it be the template for the rest of the tournament? Raina has been CSK’s most prolific run-scorer. He has made a truckload of runs at number three.
On Saturday, he once again showed why he is such an important player for their set-up. It would be one of the most disastrous decisions from CSK if Raina has to bat at number four this year. Hopefully, it won’t be the case.
What Lies Ahead For Both Sides
Given the fact that CSK will play their next four games on the same ground, the bowlers must step up their game and exhibit better performances. Lungi Ngidi would be available for the next game and he should be included in the eleven. CSK could also think of adding an experienced campaigner in Imran Tahir in the eleven to strengthen their bowling department. MS Dhoni and Co will play their next game against Punjab Kings on April 16, 2021.
The second game of Delhi Capitals will mark the entry of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje in the side. Both the English seamers, Tom Curran and Chris Woakes, should make way for the South African duo. They will play their next game against Rajasthan Royals on Thursday as the IPL juggernaut rolls on.