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When captains bowled a wrong ’un

Needing 147,Chennai got there off the final ball. Ganguly keeps Tamim on bench.

Gautam Gambhir’s decision to play Manvinder Bisla ahead of Brendon McCullum in the final turned out to be a masterstroke,but captains didn’t always get it right in Season Five. Karthik Krishnaswamy samples five major tactical goof-ups by the men in charge.

Dravid’s Hodgepodge

Rajasthan Royals got off to a storming start to the season,but suffered two last-over defeats that would go on to hurt them later on. In both these matches,Brad Hodge,one of the best T20 batsmen in the format’s nascent history,may have batted too far down the order. Against Kolkata,Hodge walked in with only 3.2 overs left,and made 12 not out in nine balls. Kolkata,chasing 137,got there with four balls to spare. Against Chennai,Hodge came in with only 1.1 overs left. Needing 147,Chennai got there off the final ball.

Ganguly keeps Tamim on bench

With four consecutive half-centuries in the Asia Cup,Tamim Iqbal came into his maiden IPL season with form and a growing reputation as one of the world’s best young opening batsmen. But he didn’t get to play in a single match. Of all the contentious decisions that Sourav Ganguly took as Pune Warriors skipper — and there were many — this was perhaps the most puzzling. If Callum Ferguson could get four games — in which he scored a total of 50 runs — why couldn’t Tamin get even one?

Sanga underutilises Duminy

Invariably walking in at No.5,JP Duminy notched up a string of not outs — he was only dismissed three times in nine innings — but even then faced only 21.11 deliveries per innings. The South African’s average of 81.33 might have been phenomenal,but he might have scored more than 244 runs had he not batted behind the likes of Daniel Christian and Parthiv Patel.

Harbhajan takes Dhawal off


In Qualifier 1 vs Chennai,Dhawal Kulkarni had dismissed Murali Vijay and Suresh Raina with his first two deliveries,and was finding consistent swing with the new ball. But after he conceded two boundaries in his second over — one of them through an edge from an excellent outswinger – Harbhajan Singh removed Kulkarni from the attack. Brought back in the 16th over,he was pummeled by MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo in his last two overs.

Sehwag’s capital mistake

Virender Sehwag’s captaincy was already under the microscope after he had decided to go in with three out-and-out quicks in the first qualifier against Kolkata on a slow Pune wicket. Chennai was expected to provide similar conditions for the second qualifier,so it wasn’t a surprise that Sehwag left out one of his fast men. The only surprise was his identity. Out went purple cap holder Morne Morkel,and in came not left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem but the untested off spinner Sunny Gupta. Gupta went for 47 in three,as Chennai piled up a massive 222/5.