Mumbai Indians' spinners Rahul Chahar, Krunal Pandya, and Jayant Yadav bowled brilliantly on a pitch that was turning square. Rohit Sharma assessed the conditions shrewdly and attacked with his spinners from both ends, and this is where Rohit Sharma outperformed MS Dhoni as captain
Mumbai Indians are known for their comebacks and, this season, yet again, they have reached the all-important final of the twelfth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2019) and are waiting for their opponents.
It was a hot day in Chennai and the Super Kings (CSK), who were the pre-game favourites due to their outstanding record at home, won the toss and elected to bat first on a slow batting wicket at the Chepauk stadium. But the CSK batsmen failed to justify their captain's decision as Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina and Shane Watson went back to the pavilion in the first six overs. Mumbai Indians bowlers gave nothing away and delivered one of the best bowling performances of IPL 2019.
However, MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu's 67-run partnership for the fifth wicket took Chennai to a decent total of 132 runs, which was 15-20 runs below par on that wicket.
Mumbai Indians' spinners Rahul Chahar, Krunal Pandya, and Jayant Yadav bowled brilliantly on a pitch that was turning square. Rohit Sharma assessed the conditions shrewdly and attacked with his spinners from both ends, and this is where Rohit Sharma outperformed MS Dhoni as captain. The Mumbai spinners bowled four of the six powerplay overs and 16 out of those 24 balls were dot balls. Also, more importantly, they took the three crucial wickets of Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, and Shane Watson.
It is also noteworthy that Mumbai, after analyzing the conditions, dropped fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan and replaced him with off-spinner Jayant Yadav. They decided to play with only three overseas players, and this move worked massively in their favour.
MS Dhoni is one of the greatest skippers in cricket history and the most successful captain in IPL history, but he made a tactical mistake during Mumbai Indians' innings. Mumbai also lost their openers early, in the first four overs, but Dhoni didn't attack with spin from both ends.
Dhoni gave three overs to medium pacer Deepak Chahar in his first spell and held Ravindra Jadeja and Imran Tahir back. Dhoni should have gone for the kill after Mumbai lost both their openers cheaply and given the ball to this best bowler of the tournament Imran Tahir, to attack Mumbai's young batters Ishan Kishan and Surya Kumar Yadav.
On a pitch that was turning from every spot, holding spinners back while defending a modest total of 132 runs, was a very defensive move. Dhoni's strategy of continuing with Deepak Chahar allowed the batsmen time to settle, and they made full use of the opportunity.
While defending small totals, it is essential to use your best bowlers early because the best chance of winning the match is to keep taking wickets. On a turning wicket, new batsmen take some time to settle down, and this allows the bowling team to sneak some dot balls and build the pressure.
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Last Updated May 8, 2019, 6:08 PM IST