Gaikwad is ready as the captain after the win over Mumbai

The newly appointed skipper was instrumental in a valiant win over the Mumbai Indians, their fierce rivals

(Cricket game) MS Dhoni is a six-footer. That’s why it’s evidence that something exceptional has occurred when his eyes became wide and he nodded appreciatively while watching the ball go over the border and pushing his lips upward and out.

It was bowling by Akash Madhwal. The batter had charged at him, he had seen. creating space outside the leg stump. He then changed his direction. And pulled his line apart. When Ruturaj Gaikwad realized he was out of position, he was already in motion.

Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings is the biggest rivalry in the IPL. And that’s not just for the fans. The teams soak in it too. It showed in their tactics on Sunday night; in how much work had gone into outdoing each other. 

Of course, there are times when even the best laid-plans are busted by individual brilliance. Like Gaikwad – out of shape – managing to reach a ball he wasn’t meant to and striking it for six over point.

Mumbai made similar moves and their opener was at the centre of it all too. Rohit Sharma vs left-arm pace is love story made in hell. CSK would have hoped to exploit that with Mustafizur Rahman, who has been in form this tournament. 

Except as soon as he came on, he was hit for four. Rohit kept doing this. Attacking the first ball of the over. It got to the point where he was toying with CSK.

Once, he hurtled out of his crease, making room for himself to lift Mustafizur over cover. Next, he shuffled across his stumps, because he knew the bowler would pull his length back and bring his line tighter, and as reward for all of that quick thinking, he found himself in the perfect place to do a little redecoration of the Wankhede. His six crashed into the roof.

This was cricket on the cutting edge of the cutting edge. And it was so much fun. Ravindra Jadeja had the biggest smile on his face as he finished his spell. He had been hit for a reverse-swept boundary but still gave away only six runs in the over. Mumbai had tried to smash him almost every ball.

Rohit even tried to reverse sweep him, twice. And he doesn’t do reverse sweeps. He’d played only seven of those in his entire IPL career coming into this game. Once again, those were attempts to get a boundary off the first ball of the over.

Mumbai brought out a big shot to 14 of Jadeja’s deliveries and he turned seven of them into dots or singles. CSK’s left-arm bowling machine had to do something he hates in order to succeed like that. He gave up the stumps. 

He bowled wide. Returns of 4-0-37-0 doesn’t do justice to his effort. The corresponding figures for Matheesha Pathirana (12 and 8) Tushar Deshpande (11 and 7) and Shardul Thakur (13 and 7) showcase just how good the whole team had to be to defend a total at the Wankhede.

The fact that there was less dew on the ground than there had been in Mumbai earlier in the game contributed significantly to CSK’s victory. A rampaging Rohit was forced back by their slower balls into the pitch because they were sticking so well.

Reaching 66 in 39 balls was his fastest race. It took him 12 deliveries to hit 12 runs after that. Deceleration of any nature is always indicative, particularly in the back ten. He did mention a hundred afterwards. He did not rejoice about it.

Also read: Zampa withdraws from IPL after getting drained


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