The first match of the Indian Premier League between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore at MA Chidambaram Stadium ended in an anti-climax as the visitors were shot out for just 70 runs within 18 overs.
On a slow track that hardly had anything for the batsmen, the RCB cricketers struggled against the venomous bowling of Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir.
Though the Virat Kohli-led side bowled their hearts out and took the game till the 18th over, a target of 71 was hardly going to be a challenge, and CSK raked up their first points this season with a thumping 7-wicket win.
Three uncapped stars took the field in the game, and here is a round-up of their performance.
Shivam Dube (RCB)
The Mumbaikar was much hyped about before the edition of the league due to his all-round skills. Dube had smashed five sixes in an over on two separate occasions in 2018, which had prompted Sunil Gavaskar to state that Dube was the best all-rounder in the country currently. However, he had a forgettable IPL debut as he could manage just 2 runs with the bat and then bowled only 4 deliveries in the second innings.
Coming in to bat with the RCB scorecard reading a poor 39 for 4 in 8 overs, the need of the hour was for Dube to partner Parthiv Patel and help his team cross the spin web that Bhajji and Tahir had weaved around them. However, he lasted only 5 balls and was out playing a nothing shot to a wide of off leg-spin delivery by Tahir.
There was hardly anything to write home about in the bowling department either.
Deepak Chahar (CSK)
Chahar started off proceedings for CSK with the new ball and though he was not amongst the wickets, he kept things tight at his end. Chahar gave away a four in his first over, much to the disappointment of MS Dhoni – bowling a fuller length ball to Patel, who threw his bat for a drive towards mid-off – but later got into his momentum as he repeatedly beat Kohli. His yorkers to the maestro troubled the RCB skipper as he finished his 4 overs within the powerplay overs, conceding only 17 overs.
Navdeep Saini (RCB)
Saini, like Dube, was a flop with the bat as he could manage just 2 runs off 3 deliveries. However, he was in the team for his bowling and the youngster excelled in this department. Though Saini was the most expensive of the RCB bowlers – he gave away 6 runs an over – he kept the batsmen on their toes repeatedly by bowling close to the 140kmph-mark.
He got some extra bounce off the surface too, and though he erred in his line and lengths at the start, he soon settled down to bowl short balls that particularly troubled Ambati Rayudu. With clever variations and changes in speed, Saini impressed even Kohli who singled him out for praise at the end of the game.
Also Read: Players to watch out for in this season