The Chennai Super Kings played their third match this IPL season against the Kings XI Punjab at their home ground in Mohali. Having won the toss for the third time in a row, MS Dhoni decided to bowl first. Just like the previous two matches, fans expected CSK to continue their winning streak and climb up to the top position in the points table. But situations were not coming in the way as expected by CSK. And Jadeja turned out to be a spotlight in this match.
Vintage Gayle and in form KL Rahul
Everything went on normal for CSK until the third over. But when Harbhajan bowled his second over of the match, the KXIP started to accelerate and started taking the match under their control. Punjab fans became glad when they saw Gayle back in action and KL Rahul supporting him on the other end. In fact, adding Gayle in the playing XI squad was seen as a smart move made by Ashwin against CSK.
A target below 200
After the fall of wickets of KL Rahul and Gayle, the Chennai Super Kings changed the momentum towards their side. Having said that, they also took the wickets of Mayank Agarwal and Yuvraj Singh who were scoring some runs for Punjab. At the end of 20 overs, the Kings XI Punjab set a target of 198 to be chased down by CSK.
Disappointing opening by CSK openers
Having given a sensible opening for Chennai in the first two matches, Watson and Rayudu were expected to do the same in this match too. But for a change, Murali Vijay who came in place of injured Suresh Raina opened the match with Watson for CSK. This duo failed to perform well as Punjab bowled extremely well during the first two overs.
The innings builder-Rayudu
When Watson lost his wicket in the 2nd over to Andrew Tye, Rayudu stepped into the ground. This arrival of Rayudu turned out to be a match building innings for CSK. He scored 49 of 35 deliveries until he lost his wicket by a brilliant run-out by Ravichandran Ashwin.
Lonely warrior Dhoni
The time when Dhoni came in to bat, no one knew that it is going to be his best ever knock in his IPL career. Yes. Dhoni recorded his highest ever score in IPL so far. He happened to smash 79* off just 44 balls which included 6 fours and 5 sixes in total. But the sad story is he could not win the match for CSK, despite playing a responsible knock in the end.
The controversy of Jadeja being promoted ahead of Bravo
When Rayudu lost his wicket to Ashwin, all eyes were on Bravo as they were expecting him to bat next. This was because he played extremely well in the last two matches against MI and KKR. But things happened out of the blue when Jadeja walked into the stadium padded up. This, in fact, dropped a bombshell to the Chennai Super Kings fans who were waiting for the arrival of Dwayne Bravo.
Did Jadeja expect this promotion?
We all remember how Jadeja played an anchoring role for Saurashtra during the Ranji Trophy match played against Jharkhand. On that note, do we remember what Jadeja said after his ton against them? Yes! The point which he said the other day has come true today. On that day, he remarked how Dhoni assured him a batting chance in the team.
“Mahi bhai told me that I will get batting opportunities in the IPL this year. He said that I have the ability of a proper batsman, and I am not the flash in the pan type of batsman. And I should think like that.”
Now, having said that, we saw Jadeja batting up the order ahead of Bravo.
MS Dhoni reveals the real reason
Finally, when the match was over, MS Dhoni gave an interview to Isha Guha where he revealed the reason for promoting Jaddu ahead of Bravo. He mentioned that it was all a decision made by Stephen Fleming, the head coach of the team who was there in the dugout. Despite the controversies on Jadeja being promoted up the order, he mentioned that being a left-hander they have much confidence in his batting. And bowling to a left-hander is not a child’s play to the bowlers he added. Dhoni also mentioned that he would be backing up Jadeja in upcoming games too.
“Fleming is in the dug out so he needs to take the decision. We have confidence in Jadeja because he being a left-hander is not easy for the bowlers. This is the time we need to give him the opportunity. If Jadeja can do the job of the floater that would be really good for the team as we have Raina at the top of the order. I will back him as we have not given him many opportunities.”
Jadeja managed to stay till the 19th over until he lost his wicket to Mohit Sharma. He scored 19 off 13 balls with one four and a six in his knock.
So what more? Can we expect Jadeja play up the order in upcoming matches too? We’ll have to wait and watch. Until then, stay updated with cricket in SwagCricket.