In probably the most one-sided game of this season and CSK’s worst-ever performance on the field, the much anticipated high stakes clash between MI and CSK turned out to be an absolute Route, as Mumbai ran away with the match. It was like a full-strength Barcelona playing a tier-3 team, simply there was no competition. Chennai did follow the football scoreline very closely being 3-4 by the third over, and there was no coming back.
1. The opening Duo
The opening partnership is not always about the two opening batsmen but also implies to the bowlers. Kieron Pollard couldn’t have asked for a better gift from his two-star pacemen when he elected to field first having won the toss as MI’s captain for the first time this year in the absence of Rohit Sharma. Bothe Boult and Bumrah tore into the hapless CSK top order and reduced them to 3 for 4 in the first 3 overs. Unlike MI’s opening combination, the new opening combo of Faf and Rituraj Gaikwad failed to provide an impetus to the batting innings, and in fact, the top 4 batsmen scores looked like a Binary code of 0’s and 1’s. All the MI bowlers were ruthless in their attack and had reduced CSK to 43 for 7 by the 9th over, and there was no coming back from that for men in Yellow.
2. The spark that is fading fast
With the writing almost on the wall for this season, MSD made a few changes to the team and bought in young blood into the team, in a hope to add more spark to their miserable batting line up. There were three changes in total, with Rituraj Gaikwad, N.Jagadeesan and Tahir coming in for Watto, Chawla and fan favourite to be dropped, Mr Kedar Jadhav. But none of the new additions seemed to make any impact, in fact, looked even more lacklustre than the ones they replaced. Both the youngsters even failed to trouble the scorers as they went for ducks, perhaps strengthening the comments and observation made by captain MSD in the previous match about the lacking spark in youngsters. But Chennai would be better served to try out new players and give youngsters more of a long run as the playoff hopes are logically impossible although mathematically probable.
3. The perfect match for Mumbai Indians
This performance from the defending champions was as dominant as it could get. Coming in with a slight set back of missing their Talisman and regular skipper Rohit Sharma owing to some slight sickness, Pollard and his boys were in top form in every aspect of the game. The bowlers did a wonderful job, and at one time looked at wrapping up CSK’s innings with a score well below 100. But some late fight from Sam Curran took CSK to 114 for 9. But any hopes of CSK fightback were quickly squashed by the Mumbai opening duo of Quinny and Ishan Kishan, Kishan was particularly hard on the Chennai bowlers, who seemed to be bowling on a completely different track to the one MI bowlers bowled on. The match was finished in 12.2 overs, with all 10 wickets intact to further add to CSK’s misery. This win took MI to the top of the table, and gave a huge boost to their NRR and almost ensures a top two finishing position if they win a couple of their remaining 4 games.
4. Has the trend changed in this IPL
The initial trend in this year’s IPL was that team batting first and putting up a decent total would end up defending it and winning the matches. This was also statistically supported as the win percentage of the teams batting first in first 30 matches of this season was almost 75%, with 22 wins prompting captains to win the toss and bat first. But in the past week and a half, that trend seems to have taken a U-Turn as chasing seem to be the best way in matches. As proof for that theory, in the 11 matches that have happened since 10 of them have been won by the teams chasing and the sole match went to the super over where Punjab triumphed over Mumbai after not one but two super overs. Whether this shift is due to change in pitch conditions or dew factor, or batsmen becoming more adept in chasing, the mindset of the teams going forward would be to win the toss and put the oppositions in.