What a cracking start for the reigning champions in IPL 2019 !! CSK on their home ground decimates RCB by 7 wickets on a pitch where the ball turned square and presented variable bounce throughout.
Winning the toss and fielding ,the home side were all over their opponents right from the outset as Harbhajan Singh looked in ominous form on a helpful pitch. Bowling tight lengths he made the RCB openers Kohli and Parthiv work for runs till Kohli(6) lost patience and was caught well by Jadeja in the deep. Moin Ali at 3 soon followed unable to cope with variable bounce spooning back a simple catch to Harbhajan , who finally accounted for the dangerous AB Devilliers (9) again caught at deep after being dropped off previous ball to leave RCB in tatters . The horror show continued with Hetmyer’s runout followed by the regular procession of RCB batters as Tahir (3/9) and Jadeja (2/15) built up the pressure created by Harbhajan. Parthiv Patel (29) looked the only visiting batsman to play sensibly acknowledging the pitch conditions as RCB meekly folded up for 70 in 17.1 overs with their sequence of scores in this innings resembling a telephone helpline number.
In reply CSK had to work hard initially as both Chahal and Moin were spinning the ball square and impressive Navdeep Saini was bowling rapidly on a slowish pitch hitting Watson once on the helmet off a quick short ball. Watson left soon after being bowled by Chahal trying to sweep but Raina (19) and Rayudu ( 28) played with care on an uneven pitch to gradually built a partnership and after they got finally dismissed , Kedar and Jadeja took Chennai over the line without further alarms to win by 7 wickets with 14 balls to spare in a dissappointing first match of IPL 2019.
RCB thinktank needs to do a lot of self introspection as it has been the same old story for years whereby they repeatedly fail to understand pitch conditions and match situations and just keep playing instinctive cricket without proper planning or adapting to situations . No wonder they continue to wait for an IPL title. This seems to be an issue with team management and captaincy to adapt to situations and plan accordingly. Also some of their senior overseas stars needs to look at their game and their planning. One cannot always win matches through sheer brilliance as there will be instances where even the best of players have to acknowledge the game situations and get their egos out of the way to play a more subdued role.
Today was another case of misreading of pitch by RCB thinktank as they played 3 pacers and only 2 front line spinners and thus Washington Sunder had to rest his heels in the dugout.
For CSK ,its a great start at their own den with Raina being the 1st ever player to get 5000 IPL runs. Of the other teams only KKR and SRH with their strong spin arsenal are capable of beating CSK in Chennai. Else it will be tough to beat them at home.
However all things considered it must be said that this was a far from ideal pitch to play a T20 game on. With the ball spinning square , stopping and variable bounce it was more like a 4th day test match pitch , certainly not ideal for a T20 match. While there should be something in the pitch for bowlers, this one was the other extreme and bcci must look into this issue. Had RCB managed around 100-110, this could have been a very close game.
Harbhajan Singh for his 3/20 and taking crucial wickets of Virat and Devilliers was the man of the match.
Scores: RCB 70 ; CSK 71/3