The Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab have recently wrapped up game 18 of IPL 2020, with a ten-wicket win for the Chennai Super Kings. With both teams at the bottom of the table and still looking for momentum, we will discuss going over a few points that seemed crucial regarding yesterday’s match.
KL Rahul’s Anchoring role:
KL Rahul scored 63 off 52 balls. He went at a rate of 7.26 runs per over. In contrast, the rest of the Kings XI Punjab scored 111 off 68, scoring 9.79 runs per over. The anchor role in T20 cricket has always been a spot of debate.
While most teams have a player for the anchor role, what rate should the anchor score at, when should the anchor change gears, and what would be the position if the anchor gets out after playing himself in. These are common questions when the topic of anchor role comes in during a T20 match.
During Rahul’s innings, there were occasions where he seemed to be slow for that role. He was 46 off 44 during the 14th over. While his strike rate throughout this season has been 141.78, the time he takes during his first 30 balls is a concern. His strike rate through the first 30 balls is 116.4.
We’ve already seen what happens when Rahul plays through the innings with a magnificent 132 off 69, where he made 42 of the last nine deliveries he faced. His approach of start steady and go big worked well against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, there were occasions where his approach didn’t come off as well.
With scores of 69 off 54 against the Royals and last night’s performance, we saw what could happen when the approach fails. It results in the side losing a well-set batsman and a considerable number of overs for their finishers like Maxwell and Pooran to make an impact, resulting in underused resources.
However, a reason behind Rahul’s slow approach could be due to the form of the middle order. With the middle order not in form, Rahul may feel it as his responsibility to steer the team through the innings resulting in a lower strike rate.
Why are the Kings XI leaving out Mujeeb Ur Rahman?
Kings XI Punjab’s death bowling has been a spot of debate up to this point in the tournament. While they tried numerous options in the death overs, they decided to go back to their experienced campaigner. Chris Jordan is Punjab’s most experienced death bowler, which was why the Kings XI Punjab went back to him.
One option they are yet to try is Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Mujeeb is a competent bowler in the death and powerplay, a phase where the Kings XI Punjab have already found success. This success, however, may allow Mujeeb to be used in the death more where he is very successful.
However, bringing in Mujeeb may reduce Punjab’s batting power as he doesn’t possess the hitting abilities of someone like Jordan.
Chennai Super Kings Death Bowling Success:
Death Bowling is an area where teams have been struggling. CSK, on the other hand, has been excellent in this suit, compared to the different aspects of their game this season. The batting struggles have been well known for the Super Kings while the new ball bowling and spin bowling has also not been up to the mark.
Despite their struggles with the ball, the Super Kings have done well to restrict their opponents to low scores. They have only conceded one 200+ score, which was in Sharjah. They picked up 11 wickets in the death so far, going at 10.05 an over, which is the best this season. The regular wickets in death are factors that have helped CSK fight back in the end, allowing them to chase targets lower than they could have earlier in the game.
It was only in the games against the Royals and Sunrisers where CSK were expensive in the death despite creating opportunities to pull their opponents back.
With bowlers like Dwayne Bravo and Shardul Thakur finding success in the death, CSK can continue to pull teams back after conceding good starts.
Chennai Super Kings Batting Approach:
Shane Watson and Faf Du Plessis, who have generally looked to play themselves in before going for their shots, looked at yesterday’s chase a little differently.
Up until yesterday, the Super Kings opening pair was not up to the mark. They were getting out within the powerplay, taking the momentum entirely away from the chase. The lack of intent up front was enough to kill the game within the powerplay as the Super Kings couldn’t keep up with the asking rate while they struggled to go past run a ball.
Watson, who’s been struggling, quickly brought out his trademark drives and cuts while Faf Du Plessis had also fast played himself in with a flurry of boundaries. Super Kings got off to a quick start, unlike in previous seasons, where the openers took their time to get going.
With Faf’s consistency and Watson, who regained his touch, the Super Kings never let the asking rate go out of hand during a great partnership. The partnership allowed the Super Kings to complete a ten-wicket win with ease, allowing them to go sixth, starting at the table’s bottom.
While the win helped solve CSK’s opening troubles, it also helped CSK get off the table’s bottom.
On the other hand, the defeat gave the Kings XI Punjab, who has been on the wrong side of some close games, a lot to think of regarding their batting approach and bowling attack.
It will be interesting to see how this win lifts CSK, who are yet to make their mark on this tournament.