Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round performance put everything else in the shade in the Chennai Super Kings’ 69-run defeat of table-toppers Royal Challenger Bangalore at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai today.
A 62-run blitz off 28 balls was followed by a spell of 3-13, and in between, a direct hit accounted for the run out of Dan Christian. That was the dominant performance of Jadeja — CSK’s man with the Midas touch.
All this wouldn’t have happened if Christian hadn’t dropped Jadeja in the 15th over before he scored. Even at the start of Over 19, RCB were in control at 154/4, having negated the excellent start provided by Ruturaj Gaikwad (33) and Faf du Plessis (50).
But Harshal Patel, the man who brought RCB back into the match, conceded 37 runs in the final over. And 36 of them were scored by Jadeja with five sixes and a four. CSK finished at 191/4.
Chasing 192 to win, RCB were never in the match. Devdutt Padikkal (34) briefly threatened to take control before RCB plunged to their first loss in five games.
Jadeja blitz gives CSK a formidable total
Ravindra Jadeja was dropped at 0, and the Royal Challengers paid dearly for the lapse. The Chennai Super Kings allrounder lashed 36 runs from the final over (including five sixes) from Harshal Patel to take his team to 191/4, which could be a winning total. Jadeja finished at 62 not out from 28 balls.
Electing to bat first, CSK got off to a strong start with openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (33 off 25 balls) and Faf du Plessis (50 off 41), adding 74 in 9 overs. After Gaikwad’s exit, RCB reeled CSK in through a double strike from Patel.
And the last over at 154/4, RCB seemed to be in control. Until the Jadeja blitzkrieg. That could well have taken the match away from RCB.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore are on a roll with an unbeaten streak in the first four games of the Indian Premier League 2021. Virat Kohli’s side never had it so good. It makes them formidable, but the lurking feeling is that a stumble may send them reeling. That makes today’s encounter with the Chennai Super Kings more significant.
If there’s any side capable of derailing Bangalore, it’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai. For CSK’s credentials are very good. Their three wins in a row have come after a loss in the first game. Which means the team is high on confidence.
That confidence stems from their bowling backed by some solid batting, led by the consistent Faf du Plessis. Pacers Deepak Chahar and Sam Curran have been impressive upfront and spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali have been wicket-takers.
Bangalore too have a fine batting line-up where No. 3 is the lone weak spot. Kohli’s tactics would be to undermine the CSK batting. For the first time in years, RCB has the bowling strength to do it.
So Kohli holds the aces now, but Dhoni is a magician. Don’t discount that.