The IPL resumed with a bang as Chennai Super Kings outclassed the Mumbai Indians with a superior display, thanks to some extraordinary batting from opener Ruturaj Gaikwad and a collective bowling masterclass.
Things started on a wobble for the Yellow army as the Kiwi duo of Adam Milne and Trent Boult removed the top-order of Chennai Super Kings within just 24 runs. It needed some dogged persistence from the opener Ruturaj and Ravindra Jadeja to stabilize the sinking ship.
Once Gaikwad got into the groove, Mumbai had a hard time trying to contain him. He played a few picturesque strokes alongside the perfect anchor hosted by Jadeja at the other end. However, the joys were short-lived for Chennai as Jasprit Bumrah bested the Indian all-rounder with a clever delivery.
The scenes that followed the departure of Jadeja, evoked extreme happiness from the Chennai fans as Bravo went for an onslaught. Bravo and Gaikwad rode roughshod over the Mumbai bowlers to destroy them completely until Bumrah managed to scalp Bravo in the last over. Despite prising out the crucial wicket of Bravo, things didn’t seem to change as Gaikwad relayed out 12 crucial runs from the last four balls to take Chennai to a fighting stance.
The Chennai bowlers, however, imposed similar shackles of frugality upon the Mumbai batters that their batters had to don while batting. Deepak Chahar struck twice to dismiss de Kock and Anmolpreet Singh while Shardul Thakur chimed in with the crucial wicket of SKY.
Ishan Kishan didn’t really last long either and barring Saurabh Tiwary, the remaining batters weren’t really promising enough to save the match for the Indians. We will take a quick glance at what really went wrong for the reigning champions as Pollard failed to get them in a perfect line.
#1 Lacking the attacking intent
Pollard should have gone for the kill when he had the chance by using the best of his lot to attack the Chennai Super Kings batters. As Chennai teetered at 24 for 4, Pollard eased the pressure on them by bringing in himself and Rahul Chahar for the attack. This is where Chennai managed to play defensively and wait out the spinning overs to hammer in the end. The strategy worked out perfectly for the Kings. Pollard’s hesitation to use Boult and Milne to keep the pressure cost them dearly.
#2 Excessive brashness with the bat
After playing out the first few deliveries very cautiously Pollard wanted to hoick Hazlewood to the stands. That was needless considering the equation in place and the dynamicity that the Caribbean skipper could have imposed if he stayed there in the middle. With the pitch doing its bit, it was needless to say that it was going to be an excessively tall ask of Tiwary and Krunal Pandya considering the climbing rate. Pollard’s instinct for big-hitting played spoilsport to what should have been a more sustained approach before the storm came out.