IPL 2020 took off with an opening match between the alleged rivals, CSK vs MI, and it sure was a treat to the eyes. The men in yellow shook the men in blue with their batting, bowling and a ‘FAF’bulous fielding! Highlighting some notable moments of the match for you:
MI’s batting show
Winning the toss, MI chose to bat first with the opening batsmen being Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock. Just when the openers seemed to lay a solid foundation, MS Dhoni introduced Piyush Chawla which led to the elimination of our Defending champions’ skipper. Saurabh Tiwary then started building a notable partnership with Suryakumar Yadav. This duo added 42 runs, until Deepak Chahar sent Yadav back to the stand. Anyone that had witnessed the match could not forget some unbelievable fielding skills of Du Plessis, which sure was a game changer. While Tiwary and Pandya’s wickets were taken by Jadeja, a brilliant death over bowling from Ngidi, Sam Curran and Chahar, pulled MI down to their not-so-best action. The men in blue finally put up a score of 162 runs for the loss of nine wickets on board.
CSK’s chasing game – Part 1
CSK started off with a shaky opening. With Trent Boult and James Pattison picking up the wickets of Shane Watson and Murali Vijay, the scorecard and the fans were ambushed by 6 runs for the loss of 2 wickets. A twist in tale happened when the partnership between Rayudu and Du Plessis flourished. With the arrival of dew, MI bowlers had to put in that extra effort, but the wicket was still pending and the runs were still flowing. Rayudu amazed everyone with a 33-ball half century, and the third-wicket partnership continued to play by the saying “third time’s a charm”.
CSK’s chasing game – Part 2
In the 16th over, Rahul Chahar seized the moment with his caught and bowled and putting an end to Rayudu’s reach. Ravindra Jadeja was as quick to go out as he came in, because of the lbw by Krunal. What is any CSK game without a pinch of Dhoni trick? MSD surprised everyone by sending Sam Curran ahead of him, and Curran contributed his beautiful share of crushing the MI bowlers.
Bumrah worked his magic with the ball when Curran was at 18 runs off 6 balls. Then came the mighty skipper, who was declared as out by the umpire in the very first ball, but hey! Thanks to DRS. When Faf hit a four here and a four there in the final over (19.2), CSK embarked on a winning journey.
It’s Yel-love for the CSK boys today!
Rohit Sharma | Losing captain: None of our batsmen carried on for us, like du Plessis and Rayudu did for CSK. I think we were 85 in the first 10 overs. Credit to the CSK bowlers, they bowled well at the end to pull things back. Something for us to learn. Still early days. We all want to start really well, it’s crucial in this tournament where momentum is important. Few things for us to learn from this game, we did make few mistakes. Hopefully we’ll rectify those and come out smarter in the next game. We are used to people cheering for us, and we knew this (empty stands) was on the cards. Anyway, this is new normal, but I hope for a while and hope that things get better soon. We need to adapt to the pitches, it got better with the dew coming. You need to hit the gaps and focus on that part of the game. The opposition can tie you down, it’s all about understanding what we need to do.
Sam Curran: Very different. I have been used to the bubble with the England team. But you are used to seeing big crowds in IPL, so it was different. I haven’t met a lot of the guys, came in a day before and was straight on the bus today. That was a good thing. I was very surprised that I went in. He (Dhoni) is a genius and thought something (about sending me before himself). We targeted that over (18th) and I went in with a six or out mentality… sometimes it comes off and sometimes it doesn’t.
First win in six matches for CSK against MI since beating them by one wicket in the opening game of IPL 2018
Mumbai Indians opening match of a season since 2013
2013 v RCB: Lost by two runs
2014 v KKR: Lost by 41 runs
2015 v KKR: Lost by seven wkts
2016 v RPS: Lost by nine wkts
2017 v RPS: Lost by seven wkts
2018 v CSK: Lost by one wkt
2019 v DC: Lost by 37 runs
2020 v CSK: Lost by five wkts
MS Dhoni | Winning captain:
It doesn’t feel like a post match presentation. We may practice enough but when you go on the field you need to assess the conditions and give it your best. It took us time for the bowlers to find the right length on this pitch. Plenty of positives but still plenty of areas for us to improve. In the second half there is a bit of movement till the dew sets in. If you don’t lose wickets early, you have the upper hand. These are the learnings. Rayudu had a wonderful partnership with Faf. Most of us are retired so luckily no injuries as well. The experience pays off, everyone talks about it. You get it only after you play a lot of games. 300 ODIs is a dream for anybody to play and when you put an XI on the field, you need a good mix of youngsters and experienced players. You need the experienced players to guide the youngsters on and off the field. The young players get 60-70 days with the seniors in the IPL. One thing we haven’t done is giving a chance to Jadeja and Curran to come up the order and express themselves which is what we did today. It was a psychological thing of saying that okay, we have batsmen down, so we’ll send one or two of them up to hit a few. It is an amazing job done by the IPL, especially ones behind the scenes. To make it happen there are a hundred different things; as cricketers we easily criticize stuff. To have the practice facilities like these at the ICC academy were fantastic. Unless you get practice facilities you won’t play well in a tournament like this. Watch the video below:
Ambati Rayudu | MoM: I kept training in the lockdown. It was a stop-start but I was really eager. When the dew came on batting became much easier. We practiced in Chennai which really helped and then in Dubai as well.