IPL 2021: India to UAE, story the same for Mumbai Indians
By- Vadiraj Kanakagiri
Dubai: After looking like the 'invincibles' in the previous season, Mumbai is struggling to hold its ground this season. Starting poorly earlier this year in India, they've continued that form in their first game here in UAE.
The IPL razzmatazz is officially underway. The two heavyweights of the league locked horns with each other yesterday. But minutes before the toss, news spread across that 'the big enchilada' of Mumbai Indians, Rohit Sharma, isn't going to feature in the game. With Mahela Jayawardene clearing things about the reasons for Rohit's absence during the first innings, saying it was just a precautionary measure, many Mumbai supporters breathed a sigh of relief.
Kieron Pollard was the stand-in skipper for the day and he walked out for the toss along with MS Dhoni. The Captain cool won the flick of the coin and decided he's gonna have a bat. Pollard didn't seem to be bothered too much, as he mentioned that he wasn't sure about what to do anyway.
In the first few overs, Mumbai showed why they're the best in the business. With a little movement off the pitch and in the air, Mumbai bowlers wreaked havoc into the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) camp by scalping 3 wickets in the first five overs with just 18 runs on the board. Usually, MSD would save himself for the latter half of the innings, but in this instance he walked out at No.5, hinting the fans about his role this season, leaving the finishing duties to Jaddu. But he didn't last long as he pulled a short delivery straight into the hands of Boult at Deep mid-wicket.
But the star of the show, as far as Chennai was concerned, was Ruturaj Gaikwad. With wickets tumbling at the other end, he stood firm to keep Chennai in the game. His solid defence, crisp drives, timely sweeps and reverse sweeps were highlighting his compact technique to go in conjunction with his cool head at the crease. He was accompanied by Jadeja, who held one end tight and let Gaikwad play freely. Jadeja fell at the death just as he was about to launch, but Dwayne Bravo more than made up for Jadeja's slow going. He and Gaikwad smoked a flurry of boundaries at the end, with Mumbai's star-studded bowling lineup having no answers to their onslaught.
With 157 to chase, Mumbai too started off awfully with the bat-like their counterparts, thanks to some brilliant swing bowling and variations by Deepak Chahar. Lord Shardul did what he always does, scalping the important wicket of the opposition. This time it was the wicket of SKY. With two left-handers at the crease in Ishan Kishan and Saurabh Tiwari, Dhoni brought Moeen Ali to the attack and squeezed some economic overs in. Kishan too perished soon, bringing captain Polly to the crease. He played cat and mouse against Bravo, but in all honesty, he was struggling. Sensing this, Dhoni brought on Josh Hazelwood into the attack and right on cue, he trapped Pollard right in front to almost seal the game for Chennai. Tiwari struggled hard but kept losing partners at the other end.
Shot of the match:
The second ball of the eleventh over, Krunal bowled a delivery on a good length on leg stump, Ruturaj came down the track, didn't quite get to the pitch, but went through with the loft with his beautiful straight bat to send the ball soaring over long-off for a splendid six. He held the pose for a little longer, helping the cameraman to get their angles right!