CSK unfazed

Unaffected by middle-order blip, CSK

Despite their inconsistent start to the IPL, Chennai Super Kings appeared to be benefiting from their middle-order. that a lot of that was due in large part to Shivam Dube, who came into the match with an intense, fast-paced game that left the opposing teams reeling.

Although Ruturaj’s sluggish start to the season was somewhat compensated for by Dube’s outstanding play, Dube appears to have lost some of it as CSK’s recently named captain has found his mojo again. Although two first-ball ducks obviously don’t make the season awful for him, it’s obvious that CSK would like to return to their peak in this area.

CSK started the match well against Punjab Kings and was headed for a 200+ total, but a middle-order blunder limited them to 167/9. Player of the Match Ravindra Jadeja acknowledged after the game that they were “15–20 runs short,” but CSK was able to counteract the middle-order collapse with a strong bowling effort that included Jadeja’s three-wicket haul.

“It was a day game, so the wicket was slow which we expected,” Jadeja stated. “We played effectively in the powerplay [with the ball], but we were unable to form alliances after that. In order to score swiftly in the final four to five overs, we sought to form partnerships. We didn’t form partnerships, but we were a successful bowling group. Important wickets were taken by Tushar [Deshpande] during the powerplay. Next, in the middle overs, Mitch [Santner] and I performed admirably.

“The wicket always appears flat when we are in the powerplay. However, the ball stops coming to the bat when it gets a bit older. In particular, you never know what to anticipate at a new location. We thought we were 15 to 20 runs short because of this, but we bowled well in the middle and powerplay overs and didn’t bowl loose balls.”

The bowling coach at CSK is also not too concerned about Dube’s decline in performance. Eric Simons stated, “I don’t think that’s a problem when you have a blip once or twice,” following CSK’s 28-run victory over PBKS. It has been our middle-order strength. Dube has been amazing, but he has left early twice, which is not uncommon. The opposing lads put up a great fight and helped us reach a respectable total that we could hold onto.

“I don’t think the middle-order will cause us too much anxiety. We are aware of the quality, even though it may not have occurred in this particular game. However, we intend to fire once more as we proceed.”

Now that they have a solid four days off, CSK can regroup and evaluate before playing Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad. On May 12, they host the mighty Rajasthan Royals before heading out west to play the Royal Challengers Bengaluru.