3 reasons why DC beat CSK in Match 2

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Although Sam Curran from the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) overwhelmingly prevailed over his brother Tom from the Delhi Capitals (DC), their respective teams had the opposite result. A high first-innings total mattered for little as MS Dhoni’s side was crushed by Rishabh Pant’s in their first match of this Indian Premier League (IPL) season.

Bereft of several first-choice players, DC’s win had contributions coming from several quarters. Thought it appeared a facile win, CSK entered the second innings as the side in control. But some excellent batting, coupled with some average bowling decisions, put the match outside their grasp.

After their worst-ever season, CSK have made a poor start to IPL 2021. Here are three reasons why they lost the contest at the Wankhede Stadium.


#3 CSK’s muddled team selection and batting order

MS Dhoni walked in to bat at No. 7 and was unable to lift his side.
MS Dhoni walked in to bat at No. 7 and was unable to lift his side.

CSK have been a franchise that have stuck to their core instincts of how to play the game and what players to back. After all, they are led by a captain who has been extraordinarily successful backing players for a long time and following instinct over a data-driven approach.

The 2021 edition sees a clash between some players in great form and some of the pillars of the franchise, resulting in a haphazard attempt at incorporating everyone.

Ravindra Jadeja and Sam Curran were at their destructive best for CSK last season, and were rewarded with the lowly No. 6 and No. 8 spots in the batting order respectively against DC. One of the IPL’s leading all-rounders, Dwayne Bravo, was slotted to come in at No. 9 or lower. The blitzkrieg by Sam Curran only hinted at the sort of damage he could have done if he was sent up to bat higher up.

The batting-order conundrum, along with the bowlers’ lack of answers, highlighted the need to drop a batsman to field an extra bowler. CSK’s medium pacers and spinners were unable to make significant dents against DC, and the likes of K Gowtham and Imran Tahir might get a look in for the next game.


#2 Powerplay domination by DC over CSK

Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan cemented DC Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan cemented DC
Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan cemented DC’s powerplay advantage.

One of CSK’s impact players last season was Faf du Plessis, while Ruturaj Gaikwad showed his spark last season with some attractive fifties at the top of the order. However, the duo fell early to some sharp bowling by DC, leaving the likes of Suresh Raina and Moeen Ali to spend the next six overs of the game trying to rebuild the innings.

CSK ended the powerplay at 33/2, pegged back by the loss of wickets and some accurate powerplay bowling by DC pacers Chris Woakes and Avesh Khan. In contrast, the DC openers Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw raced away to 65/0, and from there the rest of the chase was extremely straightforward.

Deepak Chahar’s lack of penetration over the last two seasons, and Shardul Thakur’s outrageously expensive outing after his heroics in India colours, will worry CSK.


#1 Shikhar Dhawan’s all-round contributions

Shikhar Dhawan played a crucial role in the field apart from his sublime innings. Shikhar Dhawan played a crucial role in the field apart from his sublime innings.
Shikhar Dhawan played a crucial role in the field apart from his sublime innings.

Not only did Shikhar Dhawan take three top-notch catches during CSK’s innings to peg back the Chennai franchise, but he also showcased his class with the bat for DC. The innings came at a good time, after he was left out of India’s T20I XI, to remind the selectors about his abilities in the shortest format of the game.

Starting off with a serene slice past backward point, Dhawan cut loose with back-to-back boundaries against Sam Curran. He was massively helped by Prithvi Shaw carrying over his Vijay Hazare Trophy form and striking at close to two runs a ball.

When Shaw departed, CSK sniffed a way back into the contest, but Dhawan’s aggressive batting took away any chances of a close finish.


Published 11 Apr 2021, 00:19 IST

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Written by bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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