IPL 2019 Talking Points: Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals

IPL 2019 Talking Points: Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals

Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals faced each other on 25th May at Jaipur in the fourth match of IPL 2019. It was much more than just a cricket match. It was an eventful match of cricket that created one of the biggest controversies of Indian Premier League. 

To summarize the score, Kings XI Punjab won the by 14 runs and Chris Gayle was the Man of the Match. But there were a lot of happenings during the match that is being talked about.

Chris Gayle Crossed 4000 IPL Runs

Chris Gayle broke David Warner’s record and became the fastest to score 4000 runs in Indian Premier League. Warner from Sunrisers camp achieved this feat and became the first overseas player of the league to score 4000 runs in his 114th innings. On 25th May, Chris Gayle reached the milestone and took only 112th innings and 113 matches to surpass Warner. Gayle has six hundred in IPL- the most by any player in the league. He also has the record of the highest individual score in IPL. In IPL 2013, he scored unbeaten 175 against Pune Warriors to register his name in the record book. Yesterday he played a key role to set a comfortable target for Punjab by scoring 79 off 47 balls.

Ravichandran Ashwin- Captaincy and Controversy

Ravichandran Ashwin led his team from the front. While Rajasthan Royals openers were going strong, he gave the initial blow to RR camp. His spell provided the first breakthrough by taking Ajinkya Rahane’s wicket who looked comfortably settled by then. Ashwin gave 20 runs in four overs and took one wicket.

His infamous decision was the most controversial and biggest turning point of the match. Joss Buttler from Punjab was going really strong and he was in a position to take the Royals home comfortably. Right at that moment, Buttler was Mankaded by Ashwin. ‘Mankading’ is not well accepted by the gentleman’s game although it is not termed as ‘illegal’ by the ICC. In fact, according to the rulebook, the bowler can run the batter out if the batsman is found to be out of the non-striker’s crease. But the biggest question now is whether Ashwin has deliberately waited for Buttler to go out of the crease. Whatever the truth is, Buttler’s dismissal helped Punjab to seal the victory. 

While the critics have two divisions, Ashwin termed the act as instinctive.

“No argument to that, it was pretty instinctive. I didn’t even load and he (Buttler) left the crease. It has always been my take on it because it’s my half of the crease. We ended on the right side of it but those things are game-changers and batsmen need to be wary of it.”

Also Read: Should Ashwin Mankad to Buttler?

KL Rahul and Sarfaraz Khan

With the World Cup Approaching in two months time, KL Rahul had a big point to prove in the match against Rajasthan. He already went through a controversial phase. IPL can be the best platform for him to prove himself once again and secure his place in the flight to England for the World Cup. But he ended up scoring just four runs in his first IPL match of this season. He needs to gear up for the next big matches in the days to come.

Sarfaraz Khan is probably the most positive finding of the match. He played only seven matches in last season for Royal Challengers Bangalore. In this match, he came to bat at two down for Kings XI Punjab. This was the first time that he got the chance to bat in the top order. He didn’t only end up smashing an unbeaten 46 off 29 balls, he led the innings once Chris Gayle was out. His innings consisted of six fours and one six off the final ball of the innings.

Was Ashwin right to mankad Jos Buttler?

Was Ashwin right to mankad Jos Buttler?

A controversy erupted in the IPL 2019 clash between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab at Jaipur after the visiting side’s skipper Ravichandran Ashwin mankaded Jos Buttler. 

Set a target of 185 for victory, the home team were well-placed at 105 for 1, with the Englishman Buttler leading the charge with a fifty. The Indian spinner, who was bowling the 13th over of the innings saw a chance to mankad the batsman, which is exactly what he did.

As the Indian was in his run-up, Buttler took a few steps out of his crease, and Ashwin saw this as an opportunity to run-out the player. The bowler paused before delivering the ball and while returning to his position, he casually dislocated the bails. The on-field umpires referred the case to the third umpire, who eventually ruled out Buttler. Needless to say, the Rajasthan opener was livid.

Though the rules of the game state that mankading is well within the laws, the cricketing fraternity is divided over how sporting the act actually is. In 2017, the ICC tweaked the mankad laws, and according to the rule-book, a bowler is allowed to run out the non-striker up to the moment ‘they would be expected to deliver the ball.’

While one half believed that Ashwin was well within the laws to send back the player, the other half did not take too kindly to this gesture. Buttler had taken just a few steps out of his crease, and in no way did it show that the batsman had an unfair advantage. The bowler was caught as saying to Buttler, “you are not in the crease and you have been upsetting my rhythm”.

However, a closer inspection at the video will suggest that Buttler had no intentions to run before the delivery was bowled. It also became evident that the Tamil Nadu spinner waited for Buttler to leave his crease before proceeding to mankad him. The Englishman had no idea that Ashwin stopped in his delivery stride, and upon thinking that he had bowled the ball, left the crease. However, the Indian, as mentioned above, stopped in his run-up, waited for Buttler to step out, and proceeded to mankad him.

Also Read: 4 most important players for RR this season

This gesture was met with great angst from the on-air commentators Brendon McCullum and Matthew Hayden. Though Buttler himself has been mankaded before – in 2014, when Sachitra Senanayake got him out – it was after he had been warned two times already. On Monday, that was not the case.

Ashwin too had previously been involved in a mankading controversy when he mankaded Lahiru Thirimanne in 2012 during the CB Series in Australia. However, Virender Sehwag, captain of Team India in the absence of MS Dhoni, then had withdrawn the decision, which was hailed all around the cricketing realm. Ashwin’s nonchalance on sending back Buttler and his justification of the deed at the post-match conference further caused ire among the fans.

The ICC thus should come up with sterner rules to avoid similar controversies in the future. The on-field umpires here can take a decision and gauge whether the batsman indeed had intentions to run before the delivery of the ball or it was an honest error. The game of cricket has long been hailed as a gentleman’s sport, and every player should do their bit to live up to that tag.

Players who might be on their last Test tour to Australia

Players who might be on their last Test tour to Australia

The Indian team set foot in Australia after a gap of four years and are well on course for a historic Test series win Down Under. 

The side that toured the nation four years ago were lacking massively in experience after many stalwarts had retired from the game. An almost similar but more experienced side has taken the field this time around as well, and the way that they have played after correcting their mistakes have been applaud-worthy. However, with most players above the age of 30, it can be said that when the team visits Australia next time, in roughly four years from now, a few players will have bid adieu. There might be others who might not in the fray after a string of disappointing shows as well.


Here are the 4 Test players who might be on their last Australian tour:

Ravichandran Ashwin

The off-spinner has been India’s biggest Test-match player in recent years and also has a plethora of records to his name. Ashwin became the fastest to 300 wickets and is well on course to grabbing 400 scalps.

The Tamil Nadu player is already 33 years of age and will be 37 by the time the next tour to Australia comes around. He has been plagued by injuries in the recent past, having missed the last Test in England due to injury and then being absent for the last few Tests against Australia as well. With Ravindra Jadeja coming into his own in the format with both bat and ball, and with Kuldeep Yadav showing that he has the skills to perform in Tests after taking a fifer at the SCG in the first innings, Ashwin might not be an automatic choice for selection in four years. The fact that he does not play ODIs anymore could further hamper his chances.

Parthiv Patel

The wicket-keeping slot had been a major cause of concern for the Indian team after Wriddhiman Saha’s shoulder issues cropped up. Hence, Dinesh Karthik was given a go in England and after failing to perform, the selectors went ahead with Rishabh Pant in the series against England. With the youngster seizing his chances, it is almost but certain that he is in the side for along haul, which puts Parthiv Patel, the backup keeper, uncertain for the next tour.

The Gujarat keeper has scored plenty of runs in domestic cricket but has been unable to create a mark in the international fold. He had toured Australia last in 2004 before MS Dhoni arrived in the international fold and in the four games he played, he could manage only 160 runs. He did not get a game this time around and it is safe to say that Patel might have toured the land for the last time in the whites.

Murali Vijay

Vijay was dropped after the first few Tests in England owing to a consistent bad form, but a good showing in county cricket saw him back for the series against Australia. However, 49 runs in four innings saw him being dropped for Mayank Agarwal, who has done well to grab onto his chances. With Vijay averaging only 18.80 in 2018, it is not long before the opener is overlooked for Tests, and hence, he might not play in Australia four years later.

Lokesh Rahul

Rahul who had scored his maiden hundred in Australia in 2014 had a chance to seal his spot in the Test team after scoring a magnificent ton in England earlier this year. With Shikhar Dhawan dropped and with Prithvi Shaw injured, Rahul was chosen as the second opener alongside Murali Vijay. However, only 48 runs in four innings meant that he was dropped for the Boxing Day Test. He did play at the SCG, but with only 9 runs in the first innings, things do not look too bright for Rahul and in all probability, he might be axed from the side soon.


India head into the last day with a clear advantage after a dominant Day 4

India head into the last day with a clear advantage after a dominant Day 4

India was in the driver’s seat in the first Test at Adelaide after the end of the fourth day, needing only six wickets more to complete a historical win, while Australia have the tough task of getting 219 runs on the board on a fifth day’s pitch.

The target of 323 always looked improbable and it was made even tougher as India’s bowlers stuck to a good line and length throughout the day. The Aussie unit lost two early wickets, before Shaun Marsh and Travis Head saw them through till stumps.

Earlier in the day, the overnight batters from India Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara got off to a sedate start, not giving away their wickets in the first session as they piled on 109 runs to extend India’s lead that had already reached 166 at the end of Day 3. Both players scored their fifties but the dismissal of Pujara triggered a collapse. The Aussie off-spinner Nathan Lyon first got Pujara and then Rohit Sharma in quick succession, as India lost 7 wickets for only 73 runs.

Lyon was the chief-wrecker-in chief, scalping 6 wickets in the innings, even as the Aussie pacers looked unmenacing and unthreatening. The battle between Pujara and Lyon was a highlight from the day, with the Saurashtra player keen to pad almost everything from the spinner, which frustrated Lyon even more. The Aussie ultimately had the last laugh though, as the extra bounce undid the Indian, but by then his 204-ball 71 had set the tone for the Indians.

Rishabh Pant, who has already taken affected eight dismissals in the match with the gloves, was in the mood to go after everything with the bat, hitting Lyon for three fours and a six in an over, before perishing.

The Aussie chase got off to a nervy start, as Aaron Finch was trapped LBW in front by Ishant Sharma, but a successful DRS review helped overturn the decision. However, he did not stay at the crease for long, getting dismissed on the last ball before tea break off Ashwin. Marcus Harris was caught behind playing a loose shot, while Usman Khawaja’s scratchy innings ended as he was looking to break the self-imposed shackled.

Unlike the Australian pacers, the Indian quicks looked dangerous throughout the day. They bowled good speeds (with deliveries even crossing the 140kmph-mark) and set up the dismissals cleverly. The dismissal of Peter Handscomb at the fag end of the day has tilted the game in India’s favour and they will be eager to go all out for the elusive win on Day 5.

Brief scores: India 250 and 307 (Cheteshwar Pujara 71, Ajinkya Rahane 70; Nathan Lyon 6-122) lead Australia 235 and 104/4 (Shaun Marsh 31*, Mohammed Shami 2-15) by 219 runs.

Australia vs India: Ashwin and Head steal the honours on Day 2

Australia vs India: Ashwin and Head steal the honours on Day 2

Travis Head’s resilience and Ravichandran Ashwin’s talent were the talking points of the day in a traditional day of Test cricket between India & Australia at the Adelaide Oval. 

After the Indian off-spinner constantly drifted, dipped and turned the ball that undid Australia’s line-up, the Aussie batter, playing his first Test match on home soil, took the attack to the opposition, staying unbeaten on 61 at the end of Day 2. Australia still trail India by 59 runs.

Ashwin, who had been dropped in favor of Karn Sharma in the Adelaide game four years ago, showed his importance by bowling slow through the air and cramping up the players for room. His 22-over uninterrupted spell had three wickets, all of the left-handers, and he conceded only 38 runs.

India’s Ishant Sharma, left, celebrates after dismissing Australia’s Tim Paine, right, during the first cricket test between Australia and India in Adelaide, Australia, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/James Elsby)

The spell slowed down the proceedings for Australia in the day, who had bowled India out for 250, allowing them to add just one run to their overnight total. The Aussie batting unit scored at just 2.17 runs per over – their second-lowest run rate at home since 1990, till Head walked out to the crease. He showed immaculate judgment by leaving the balls outside off and cashing in on the loose deliveries. When Ashwin bowled a short outside off and wide off-break delivery to him, Head showed good footwork by going back deep into his crease and crunching it away for a four. A few overs later when Ishant Sharma overpitched a ball outside the off-stump, Head drove the delivery towards extra-cover and reached his 50 off 103 balls after he punched a ball to deep cover off the bowling of part-timer Murali Vijay.

Also Read: Indian Test Moments @ Adelaide Oval

However, the tale was vastly different for the top-order batsman as they struggled against the sharp movement that Ishant Sharma was getting. Aaron Finch was out attempting a drive and Marcus Harris, the debutant, was unable to judge the line of an Ashwin delivery that drifted in late. Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb played loose shots after they had been put under pressure by the unrelenting lines that the Indians bowled.

Ashwin then sent back Usman Khawaja with enough bounce and turn that forced the batter to nick it behind when he was on 28 – a struggling knock that came in 125 balls. Though Handscomb, who was playing his first Test in Australia since the Ashes game in Adelaide last year, looked at ease against the Indian spinner, going down the pitch against him, he was soon sent back by Jasprit Bumrah who set him up beautifully by bowling a number of short-balls and then surprising him with a full ball. After Tim Paine was out for 5, Australia were struggling at 127 for 6, but just like Cheteshwar Pujara helped India through the chaos on Day 1, Head too looks well set for an encore.

India Tour of Australia | 2018-19

India Tour of Australia | 2018-19

After a one-sided Test series, the India-Windies One Day series is proving to be a close battle. Although the ODI series will be followed by a 3-match T20 series most of the Indian fans have started thinking about the big Australia tour starting in 3 weeks time.

In India’s last Australia tour in 2016, Indians only played the limited over formats. Although they lost the ODI series 1-4, in T20s they whitewashed Australia for the first time in Australia with a 3-0 win.

This time the tour will start with T20s with three T20 Internationals scheduled on 21st, 23rd and 25th November in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney respectively. After a 10 days break the Border Gavaskar Trophy will commence from 6th December with the first test being played at Adelaide followed by second test match at Perth from 13th. Last two test matches will be the traditional Boxing-day and New Year tests at Melbourne and Sydney. The final leg of the tour will include 3 ODIs in 12th, 15th, and 18th January.

The Indian selectors have already announced the squads for the T20 and Test series and it includes quite a few surprises.

The T20 squad was announced for combined Windies and Australia tour and the biggest one is the removal of MS Dhoni from India’s T20 squad. This is the first time MS Dhoni has been dropped from an Indian squad in his 14 years long career. Instead of Dhoni, the selectors have opted for both Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik, a move described to pick the backup options behind the stumps.

Virat Kohli has opted to play the T20s in Australia and batting gives a familiar look with Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and KL Rahul as Top order options. For the middle order, Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey will shoulder the responsibility along with the wicketkeepers.

Hardik Pandya is still not fit and in his absence, the Allrounder duties are handed to his elder brother Krunal Pandya who is expected to make his debut against the Windies. Krunal is also part of the Four member Spin attack for Australia which includes Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Washington Sundar. Bumrah will lead the pack of fast bowlers with support from Bhubaneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and impressive new boy Khaleel Ahmed.

The 18 members Indian Test squad has a more stable look. Based on his experience Murali Vijay earned a call-up to support KL Rahul and the amazing Prithvi Shaw as the third opener option. Shikhar Dhawan was not so lucky neither is Mayank Agarwal, who despite the bucketful of runs in domestic cricket could not make the cut. With the regular troika of Kohli, Pujara, and Rahane in the middle order, the backup choices are Hanuma Vihari and Rohit Sharma who also returns in the squad after missing the England tour due to his horrible show in South Africa at the beginning of the year. One should feel bad for Karun Nair who remained out of the squad after being part of the touring Indian side in England without playing a single game. Maybe Vihari’s off-spin bowling played a role in selectors going for him.

As Wriddhiman Saha’s long injury lay-off continues, Parthiv Patel earns another call-up as back up to Rishabh Pant and can also be another potential option in the top. Bowling looks more settled with all the regulars present in both Pace and Spin department. Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Kuldeep Yadav will provide spin options of different variety. Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma will lead the seam bowling options with support from Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, and Bhubaneshwar.

Australia just finished a winless series against Pakistan and with Steve Smith and David Warner still out due to the ball-tampering bans it will be a great opportunity for India to prove their supremacy in all formats and get their first Test series to win in Australian soil.

Pre-Match Analysis, India Vs Afghanistan One-Off Test Match


India Vs Afghanistan: India is all set to host Afghanistan for their debut Test match tomorrow in Bangalore as together they are about to make history.

Afghanistan is exuberant with high spirits and confidence as they enter their first ever Test series. Although the country is war-ravaged, they remain resilient. India, on the other hand, will be entering without captain Virat Kohli who is sitting out due to injury. Although he has been replaced by stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, it will not be the same as Kohli will know his team’s strengths and weaknesses as well as tactics better than his double. 

As Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons said, his men won’t understand what Test cricket is until they get onto the field. So Afghanistan definitely has a good international cricket history and their individual players have shown a lot of promise but will they be able to execute their abilities to the highest level in this new format? Captain Ashgar Stanikzai made a confident statement about how the home team’s bowlers put together are no match for his spinners. This pompousness seems to indicate that the team is unaware of what they’ve really signed up for.

To which, Dinesh Karthik replied, “Our Kuldeep Yadav (2 Tests) has played more first-class games than all their spinners put together. I know from where it’s coming but I wouldn’t to harp too much on that.” 

When you say spinner, obviously the first name to come to mind is Rashid Khan who has created a whirlwind of sorts around the skill and finesse he displayed during the Indian Premier League. Now it all comes down to how well he can maintain executing that very dangerous quick arm speed in a complete fifty-over game. This won’t just test his skill but also patience and endurance. This may just be Rashid Khan’s most important exam before entering some of the top names in cricket history. He should be supported by Mujeeb Ur Rahman who also had a pretty good IPL outing and wicketkeeper Mohammed Shahzad. 

India, however, does have experience which may just allow them to run through this smoothly even in the absence of Virat Kohli. Every player knows his part and Rahane from his side may have to put little to no effort in bringing the already well-oiled machine to start. 

As per T20 format, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan have been having a good year with the bat so it is very likely they will be opening to set the pace for the home team. Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara have the ability to stay on the field for a longer duration, especially with no pressure of an asking rate. However, there is a chance of Karun Nair making an appearance in place of Murali. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will rival the opponent spinners while Kuldeep Yadav seems to be the team’s hope as per Dinesh Karthik’s statement. If DK makes the cut for the line-up, this will be the first Test since 2010. 

Afghanistan has the best bowling sector with a variety of players to choose from. Zahir Khan as the left-arm wrist spinner bowler, mystery bowlers Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman and all-rounders Mohammed Nabi and Amir Hamza. If selected, Mujeeb will be the first player to be born in the 21st century and play in the Test series. 

This will be a win-win in any case for the guests as even coming this far will be deemed as a victory. But this will be very interesting to watch nonetheless as once again experience will be weighed against exuberance. 


India: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Ravichandran Ashwin. Ravindra Jadeja. Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

Afghanistan: Ashgar Stanikzai (captain), Mohammed Shahzad (wk), Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Ihsanullah Janat, Nasir Jamal, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Mohammed Nabi, Rashid Khan, Zahir Khan, Amir Hamza Hotak, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad, Yamin Ahmadzai Wafadar, Mujeeb ur Rahman.

IPL, the springboard to a team India cap!

The 11th edition of the Indian premier league has just come to a close and the lucrative league has seen its fair share of ups and downs, spot-fixing scandals, records being broken, last-minute venue shifts and most importantly a platform for the lesser-known domestic talent. 

The IPL trophy has a Quote in Sanskrit engraved on it “Yatra Pratibha Avsara Prapnotihi” which means “where talent meets opportunity”, This is the essence of the IPL, it celebrates talent and the IPL has immensely contributed to the growth of Indian cricket. 

So with the likes of Suryakumar Yadav and Nitish Rana intriguing Indian Selectors after their performances, let’s have a look at 5 players (in no specific order)  who have benefitted from the IPL in the past and used it as an audition to earn an India cap.

    1. Jasprit Bumrah

Bumrah along with Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is India’s frontline fast bowler and troubles batsman in all three formats. He has a very unorthodox action that takes people by surprise and also possesses a lethal yorker, Bumrah credits a lot of his success to Former MI bowler and Present coach Lasith Malinga, “I share a good relationship with him. In 2013, when I came into the MI team straight from the Under-19 set-up, he himself came up to me and taught me many things. Earlier, I didn’t know how to bowl an outswinger. He taught me how to do it. He gave me the confidence that even though I have a different action, that doesn’t mean it won’t work.” 

Its safe to say that Bumrah is one of the biggest finds of the IPL and Indian Cricket!

2.  Axar Patel

The left-handed all-rounder from Gujarat has been one of the mainstays in the constantly evolving Kings XI Punjab, Axar was one of Kings XI Punjab’s best player in 2014 IPL Season and played a key role in taking them to the Final that year. Post his exploits in the IPL Axar broke into the Indian Cricket team and 12 Months later found himself in India’s World Cup Suad.

Axar has been in and out of the Indian squad in 2018, but with his useful left-arm spin and his ability as a pinch hitter, he may find himself back in the Indian squad.

3. Hardik Pandya 

Undoubtedly India’s best fast bowling all-rounder, Pandya started off with his current team, Mumbai Indians and has been an integral part of the Franchise. His humble beginnings have been a source of Inspiration for cricketers everywhere, “I have struggled for three years. We used to save Rs 5 and Rs 10. I still remember in IPL, we got around Rs 70 thousand and we thought we would survive on it for some time. Because we were struggling for almost three years then. We had not paid EMI for two years. We were smart, we used to hide our car. We didn’t want the car to go. Everything we earned in those three years was supposed to be saved for the car rather than having something new for us or buying something. It was just car’s EMI and food that mattered to us at that time,” 

Pandya is a regular in all three formats for India and certainly has his early days in the IPL to thank for his success.

4. Ravichandran Ashwin

The ‘Test’ specialist has played 57 Tests, 111 ODIs, and 46 T20 Internationals. He is in some sense a veteran when it comes to Indian spinners and holds the record for the fastest Indian to 50, 100, 150, 200, 250 and 300 Test wickets. Ashwin got a national call-up courtesy of good performances for CSK in the IPL and the Champions League T20 (Now canceled), he played a key role in the ODI, T20 and Test setup for India but in recent years has been a regular only in the Test side.

Ashwin is renowned to have an amazing cricketing brain and was CSK’s frontline spinner for many seasons before being picked up by Kings XI Punjab in this year’s auction and even went on to Captain the side. It may be the end for Ashwin in the shorter formats but he’s a veteran of Indian Test Cricket and has the IPL to thank for his initial recognition.

5. Yuzvendra Chahal

Chahal is India’s frontline spinner in the shorter formats and has had a terrific international season and spun a web around all the International sides India played. Chahal started his IPL career at Mumbai Indians but only played one game in the IPL and was released by the franchise ahead of the 2014 Season, Chahal was eventually picked up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore for his base price of 10 Lakhs.

Chahal has gone on to become RCB’s highest wicket-taker, with 82 scalps and his exploits for RCB have certainly aided his ability to perform at the International level.  

IPL Match 56, Post-Match Analysis: End of the road for Kings XI Punjab


IPL 2018 | Match 56 | CSK vs KXIP: Chennai Super Kings ended the final knockout match with a comfortable win against the Kings XI Punjab by five wickets.

CSK is now at par with the table-toppers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, with 18 points and will be facing them in the Qualifier 1 match on May 22nd. This result helped Rajasthan Royals keep its place in the top four as they made it to the playoffs as well.

KXIP, on the other hand, finished the tournament with their eighth successive defeat at seventh place. They needed a win by at least 53 runs to make it to the playoffs but didn’t even come close to the target.

CSK won the toss and opted to field first. Placing KXIP to bat, they had a terrible start as they lost all their big-hitting batsmen, KL Rahul (7), Chris Gayle (0) and Aaron Finch (4) within the Power Play. With only 29 runs by the end of PP, Manoj Tiwary (35) and David Miller (24) added a substantial amount of runs to the score. Tiwary was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja and Miller left soon after at the hands of a well-executed yorker by Dwayne Bravo. But it was only Karun Nair‘s brilliant knock of 54 runs off 26 balls laced with three fours and five sixes that provided any chance of KXIP winning. Axar Patel (14) attempted to support him in his ordeal but was taken out by a stunning catch by Sam Billings. After his wicket, captain Ravichandran Ashwin, Andrew Tye and Ankit Rajpoot along with Nair were taken out one by one until KXIP ended their innings at 153 – all out in 19.4 overs.

Lungi Ngidi was the star of the match as he finished with a spectacular figure of 4/10. Bravo had a good day on the field too as he eliminated two crucial KXIP batsmen but conceded 39 runs in his four overs.

CSK had a target of 154 to chase which they achieved in 19.1 overs. They ended the innings with Suresh Raina‘s unbeaten 61 runs off 48 balls laced with two sixes and four fours and MS Dhoni‘s seven ball cameo of 16 runs. He ended the match in a very Dhoni-esque way with a spectacular six. However, their start wasn’t as entertaining as the end. CSK lost Ambati Rayudu (1) in the second over to Mohit Sharma. The situation didn’t improve with two back-to-back dismissals of Faf du Plessis (14) and Sam Billings (0) by pacer Ankit Rajpoot, two overs later. Plessis was caught out by Gayle while Billings was clean-bowled for a golden duck. Ankit Rajpoot not only took down the wickets but also reduced them to 27/3 in five overs. Harbhajan Singh (19) and Suresh Raina then came in and took the team to fifty runs in nine overs. Just when they got the momentum going, Harbhajan was dismissed by captain Ravichandran Ashwin himself in the eleventh over. At that point, CSK needed 96 off 59 balls. Raina attempted to keep the run rate going but it fell uneven with no possibility of a boundary. In fact, the team had six dry overs from the ninth to the fifteenth over with no boundaries. With a target of 73 off 36 balls, Deepak Chahar hit two consecutive sixes in Ashwin’s over and Axar Patel’s over to bring the target to an easier 40 runs off 24 balls. But Ashwin came with vengeance to remove Chahar in the seventeenth over. However, his 20-ball 39 helped reduce 56 runs from the target with Raina. Then came in Dhoni and the rest was history.

This win has given CSK two chances at the final at the Qualifiers and the Eliminator and with their in-form performance, they look like they are about to give some tough competition to the Sunrisers Hyderabad. They will now be clashing with SRH for the Qualifiers 1 at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on May 22nd at 20:00 IST.

IPL Match 56, Pre-Match Analysis: KXIP in the final knock-out with CSK


IPL 2018 | Match 56 | CSK vs KXIP: Chennai Super Kings will be facing Kings XI Punjab for the fourth and final knockout match before the playoffs kick off at the Maharashtra Cricket Stadium, Pune tonight at 20:00 IST.

Kings XI Punjab dominated the first half of the season but now their luck has reversed with only win in seven matches. The team has a herculean task ahead of them as they not only have to worry about defeating the second-placed Chennai Super Kings but also about raising their net run rate. Just a win won’t get them through to the playoffs – currently, their NRR is -0.490 and they will have to exceed -0.250 to replace Rajasthan Royals from the fourth position, provided the Mumbai Indians fail today.

Only KL Rahul has provided in terms of batting with spectacular knocks in all their matches but has been unable to lead the team to the victory with little to no support from his fellow batsmen. Chris Gayle started off the season with a vengeance for being one of the lowest auctioned players and partnered with Rahul to form a torpedo-like duo but has been inconsistent lately. Among the remaining, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Yuvraj Singh, Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair have failed to perform when the team needed them the most.

In case of bowling, Andrew Tye is the leading wicket-taker not only in the team but also in the tournament with 24 wickets from 13 matches. Without the injured Mujeeb ur Rahman, however, even his bowling does not have the required impact and against the star-studded batting line-up that is CSK, more than Tye is required for a win. Ravichandran Ashwin will need to put his wide assortment of pacers and spinners to use tonight and he himself will have to step up.

CSK, on the other hand, have already qualified for the playoffs and they sit in second place with 16 points. A win will place them at par with the Sunrisers Hyderabad and directly into the first Qualifiers on May 22nd. However, they recently tasted defeat in the hands of bottom-of-the-table Delhi Daredevils which has exposed their weaknesses and they will need to gain footing again.

For the Yellow Brigade, Ambati Rayudu has been brilliant throughout both as an opener and at number four position. He will be expected to give a flying start to the team with Australian all-rounder Shane Watson. MS Dhoni himself has proved himself to be one of the best captains the world has seen and has taken it upon himself to take the team to victory after the two-year hiatus. Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, and Ravindra Jadeja will also need to make an impact tonight.

Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur will take care of the bowling department along with the veteran spinner duo of Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja. Bravo will need to gather himself as he found himself hammered for 26 runs off the final over in the last match.

The temperatures have been going to a maximum of 37 degrees during the day in Pune but thunderstorms are a possibility in the evening.

CSK will most probably stick with the same line-up. In case of KXIP, Yuvraj Singh may face replacement by Karun Nair and Mujeeb ur Rahman was seen at the try-outs but it is still not confirmed as to whether he’d make it for the game tonight.

The two teams have clashed seventeen times previously and CSK leads with three wins over KXIP. Pune hasn’t been that lucky for the team either as KXIP has managed only one win of six games in this venue. CSK has the upper hand regarding batting and the least wickets lost and are therefore the more probable winners of tonight’s match.

Brad Hodge, the head coach of KXIP, expressed his nervousness regarding tonight’s game – “I just hope we are in a position tomorrow where we can give an entertaining performance and try and make the playoffs.”

A season that has seen major comebacks, will KXIP be able to finally get it together and bring back the grandeur their team held at the beginning of the season? Watch tonight to find out.