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Saturday, May 08, 2021

IPL 2021, CSK vs DC: Hot heads, calm minds and everything in between

Three-time champions CSK witnessed a poor start to its IPL 2021 campaign, losing by seven wickets to Rishabh Pant-led Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty , Vishal Menon |
Updated: April 11, 2021 12:19:25 pm
Delhi Capitals' Rishabh Pant shakes hands with Chennai Super Kings' MS Dhoni after the match. (IPL)

Dhoni, starting where he left off

A fortnight ago, MS Dhoni sent social media into meltdown with his monstrous hits during Chennai Super Kings training camp in Mumbai. “Let the whistles travel for 109, 114,……… metres! #WhistlePodu #Yellove,” CSK captioned in the Instagram post. The 3-time IPL champions had endured their worst season last year, finishing 7th in the league stage and had failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in the history of the tournament. Dhoni, too, looked lacklustre, registering just 200 runs at an abysmal strike-rate of 116.27. Seeing Dhoni biffing bowlers around at the nets only heightened the sense of anticipation amongst fans, and ignited hopes of a turnaround this season. However, it turned out to be an anti-climax of sorts, after the CSK captain bagged a duck on return — dragging a length delivery from Delhi Capitals pacer Avesh Khan onto the stumps.

by Vishal Menon

Familiar sight: Raina cameo

Suresh Raina’s departure from the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) camp ahead of last year’s IPL was as abrupt as it was unexpected. The team’s most successful batsman, MS Dhoni’s most trusted lieutenant, had left Dubai citing personal reasons. The team was never going to replace the irreplaceable. Raina and CSK have an emotional attachment, which is mutual. “No hard feelings. CSK is like a family,” the franchise CEO Kasi Viswanathan told this paper two days before the team’s 2021 IPL opener.

The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy was Raina’s tenuous link to competitive cricket, coming into the tournament. He came at No. 4 and faced Ravi Ashwin. Two boundaries ensued – Raina can still play spin in his sleep. After a 32-ball half-century, the entire CSK dug-out stood and clapped. The monkey was off Raina’s back.

by Shamik Chakrabarty

Battle of the brothers

Kevin Curran died young, in 2012 at the age of 53. The former allrounder would have had mixed emotions if he were watching the battle of the siblings. Kevin’s sons, Tom and Sam, faced off at Wankhede on Saturday, the former playing for Delhi Capitals (DC) while his younger brother turning up for Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

Tom was bowling to Sam and honours were even in the 17th over during Capitals’ innings. Tom bowled three deliveries to Sam, had a dot ball and conceded a single and a four. His next over was when Sam played merry hell. The third ball, a full-toss, went for a six over long-on. Tom responded with a bouncer – no quarters given, none asked for. Sam was ready and sent it over deep mid-wicket for another six. The next ball went over cover for a four, Sam was in sumptuous flow. Tom was disappointed. Maybe, in the cooler climes of Surrey after the IPL, the Curran brothers will recollect their Mumbai emotions.

by Shamik Chakrabarty

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