I’m writing this blog even before the match has ended because I know the result already.
It has been a truly miserable outing from RR today, and I’m really fuming right now, especially at RR’s batsmen. I will try my best to not let this turn into a rant, but we’ll see how it goes.
Ok, let’s talk about the positives first. RR’s bowling wasn’t too bad. Ankit Rajpoot leaked runs at the start and the end, but apart from him and Tom Curran, every single bowler was quite appreciable. Continuing his purple patch, Rahul Tewatia bowled out his 2 overs at an exceptional economy rate of just 6.5.
RR’s newfound pace duo
The youngster Kartik Tyagi made his IPL debut, and proved to be quite the revelation. He got the valuable wicket of Quinton De Kock, and his gripping short wide balls, mixed with the sudden yorker, were very impressive. Jofra Archer was astounding as usual. He did go for huge runs against Rohit Sharma in his first over, but did very well to pull back in the rest of his spell, managing to take Krunal Pandya’s wicket as well. But there was one thing I did not like from him today.
Archer hitting batsmen in the head and laughing
He hit two batsmen on the head. That’s alright, it’s part of the game. But what I didn’t like was that he didn’t even go to apologise to the batsmen, or to console them. Instead, he literally smiled, turned back and loaded his run up again. That’s just inhumane. Remember that Archer had done something similar with Steve Smith too, in the Ashes. He had hit him in the head, and then smirked.
Warnie works his magic
Shreyas Gopal was definitely the pick of the bowlers today. He took 2 wickets in a row, and that resulted in MI losing momentum in the middle overs. Before this game, RR released a video showing Shane Warne coaching the leggies of RR – Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia. It seems that Warnie’s magic worked, and both the spinners really stepped up their game today.
SKY had no limit today (He was my fantasy team captain, so I’m not complaining J)
Among the MI batsmen, the only name that really stood out was Suryakumar Yadav. SKY has been a different player altogether since he started playing for MI in 2018. In today’s game, he wasn’t really his usual self. He usually embodies elegance and good cricketing shots. But today he played contrarily. All of his big shots were behind the wicket. In fact, he scored 51 of his 79 runs today, behind the wicket. It was a great inning, and he was the only anchor from the MI camp, and carried his bat through the innings.
Yashasvi Jaiswal takes the strike ahead of Buttler?
Now on to the blood boiling part. RR’s batting. I was delighted when Yashasvi Jaiswal walked out to open the innings instead of Steve Smith. But I wasn’t too happy when I saw Yashasvi taking the strike instead of Jos Buttler. Yashasvi is a young, unexperienced guy, and you can’t possibly expect him to set the tone of the innings against an international bowler like Trent Boult. Sure enough, Yashasvi edged his very second ball, and went off for a duck, leaving his vast prowess of talent yet to be seen. As I write this, the game has been finished officially now.
Steve Smith. I can’t, I just can’t.
Then the next batsman walked in. Here, Sanju Samson should have really been the one to walk in, since some experience was needed down the order, and Steve Smith would provide that. But no. Our dear captain Smith walked out himself, practically reassuming his opener’s role since just this was just 2 balls into the innings. In just his 2nd delivery, Smith swung his bat wildly and hit a 4. While any fan would be delighted at the boundary, I was actually screaming on top of my voice at Steve because I knew what was going to happen. I’d seen it before. We all had. Sure enough, in the very next over, Smith went for a frenentic pull shot against a quality bowler like Bumrah, and edged it to the keeper. A replica of his inning against KKR. Truly awful.
Mr.Consistent Sanju Samson
After this came Sanju Samson. I’m afraid I’m going to sound like an internet troll here, but Sanju Samson always plays one or two good innings at the start of the season, and then disappears into thin air. This is an overwhelming pattern. As an RR fan, I’m happy whenever someone says he is ready for the national team, but as an India fan, I am happy to accept that he is not. He really can’t play for India with this level of inconsistency.
Jos Buttler – The Lone Tiger Today
The score was 12-3 here and the game was as good as done. But then emerged the only silver lining for RR’s batting in this game. Jos Buttler is back in form. It really did seem like he was playing a different game on a different pitch against different bowlers than the other RR batsmen. His valiant 70 off 44 was the best innings by an RR batsman this season, purely because the other good innings came on the easiest of grounds. He continued his trend of always performing well against his former team MI, and making them regret ever releasing him. A miracle was needed to dismiss him today, and that came in the form of a Kieron Pollard blinder, not really an uncommon occurrence. After his wicket, it was merely a formality of knocking out the tailenders and preserving the net run rate.
All in all, this was an extremely disappointing performance by the Royals today. But what was even more disappointing was that all the mistakes were being repeated! The KKR game and the RCB game, both were lost in the exact same way. Steve Smith and Sanju Samson losing their wickets going for the glory shots, and too big a target being left for the inexperienced middle order to accomplish. Someone needs to sit down with these 2 and explain their roles to them, especially Smith. I’m telling you, the only thing keeping Steve Smith in the RR team right now, is the fact that he’s the captain. Otherwise he would be out in a heartbeat.
My Current Prediction Counter – 13-5 (3 of those 5 wrong predictions are RR defeats btw)