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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Has CSK lost the intent to win !


T20 is all about tonking the ball  - it is a batters game – sixers and fours are hit .. no score less than 200 is safe these days and so on ..but at break now CSK has made 44/2 in 9.1 overs crawling at 4.8 with the required run rate climbing up and up.  Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Narayan Jagadeesan – on view have all scored runs below the balls faced !! – one sadly feels that the intent to win is missing from CSK these days !

In the earlier match, 24th match at Abu Dhabi – it appeared to me that the match had been wrapped fully by KX1 but .. ..   they only needed 21 off 17, with nine wickets in hand. And then, somehow, they contrived to turn it into a situation where two new batsmen - literally; neither had faced a ball yet - needed to hit 14 off the last over.  It was a spinner,  Sunil Narine and he choked them no ends – the confidence of Chris Gaffaney in declaring a four is to be appreciated – a six would have altered the fortunes and would have stretched the match to another Super Over – it was a four, missing the ropes by a whisker. Narine varied his pace and bowled skilfully. Glenn Maxwell, not at his best this season   found the boundary twice, but could not take his team to a win. There was a switch-hit that landed a few meters short of carrying for six. That brought the equation down to eight off three balls.  Clearly, he should have been sent earlier and it defied logic that Prabhsimran Singh walked in ahead of him, played 7 balls scoring 4.  Kings XI have one win from seven, and mostly have themselves to blame for it.

A decade ago, in 2010 -  Chennai Super Kings struggled in the first half of the regular season, winning only two matches out of seven.  They played rather poorly in the first half – they started badly losing by 31 runs to   the defending champions Deccan Chargers. In their second match, they beat the Kolkata Knight Riders by 55 runs, as captain MS Dhoni scored an unbeaten 66 off 33 balls. During the match Dhoni picked up an injury after he was hit on the arm by a rising delivery from Shane Bond.  The injury forced Dhoni to sit out of the tournament for a week during which Suresh Raina took over the captaincy of the team. They  also managed to beat Delhi Daredevils comfortably by 5 wickets as Matthew Hayden struck 93 off 43 deliveries.

Their fourth match of the season, against Kings XI Punjab, went to the Super Over after the match ended in a tie. In the Super Over, CSK set Punjab a target of 10, which the latter chased down comfortably with two balls to spare. They lost to the Royal Challengers in the next match after RCB batsman Robin Uthappa scored an unbeaten 68 to help his team put up a big total on the board. At Mumbai, Suresh Raina scored an unbeaten 83 to take his team to 180/2 in 20 overs. But, the home team Mumbai Indians chased down this total, thanks to their openers Sachin Tendulkar and Shikhar Dhawan, both of whom struck fifties.   They lost their fourth game on trot after they went down to Rajasthan Royals by 17 runs at Ahmedabad. The losing streak came to an end after Murali Vijay made a 39-ball 78 against the Royal Challengers to help his team chase down the target of 162. Vijay continued his good form in the next game against Rajasthan Royals, scoring 127 (56 balls) including eight fours and 11 sixes. He combined with Albie Morkel (62 off 34 balls) to set up the biggest total in the history of IPL (246/5). Chennai managed to win the game by 23 runs despite Rajasthan batsmen Naman Ojha's 94* and Shane Watson's quickfire 60.

Remember Murali Vijay was playing attractive attacking game those days.   Their last league match, a do-or-die for Chennai, was at the picturesque Dharamsala against Kings XI Punjab. The match is remembered for CSK skipper Dhoni's innings of 54* (29) that turned the match on its head to give Chennai an improbable win. He was well supported by Raina's 46 (27) and Subramaniam Badrinath, who scored 53 (36) to set up the chase of 192. They ended their league fixtures with 14 points from as many matches, finishing with the same number of points as three other teams with two semi-final spots at stake. Chennai got the third place as they had the best Net run rate of the four teams which finished on 14 points.

They went on the win the finals and also    qualified for the 2010 Champions League Twenty20 that was held in South Africa. At the Champions League, the Super Kings were placed in Group A along with champions of Twenty20 competitions from Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. The Super Kings topped the Group table with three wins and a Super Over defeat to the Victorian Bushrangers. In the semi-final at Durban, the Super Kings comprehensively defeated IPL rivals Royal Challengers Bangalore by 52 runs.   The Super Kings played their first CLT20 final at Johannesburg where they beat the Chevrolet Warriors by 8 wickets, becoming the first IPL team to win the CLT20.  Murali Vijay won not only the Man of the Match in the final for his 58 but also the Golden Bat for scoring the most runs in the tournament and Ashwin, who was the leading wicket-taker, was adjudged the Player of the Series. At the end of the season, Matthew Hayden decided to retire from the IPL.

But that team had Indian stars : MS Dhoni,  Suresh Raina, Sudeep Tyagi, Joginder Sharma, Shadab Jakati, Manpreet Gony.  

Overseas players : George Bailey, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Jacob Oram, Albie Morke, Thisara Perera, Justin Kemp; Doug Bollinger, Thilan Thushara, Muttiah Muralitharan

Players from Tamil Nadu : Murali Vijay;  Subramaniam Badrinath; Anirudha Srikkanth; Abhinav Mukund; Hemang Badani; Chandrasekar Ganapathy; Ravichandran Ashwin; Lakshmipathy Balaji

.. .. .. a CSK fan !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

10.10.2020 @ 10.10 pm. 

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