RR vs DC : Match Notes

How does Muztafizur bowl that slower ball ? Did Pant miss a trick ? And was it all about Jaydev Unadkat's slower balls ? Some match notes from RR vs DC - match 6 of IPL 2021

High scores and Mumbai ended abruptly. The freshness of the pitch and moisture in the surface helped the seamers find some movement off the deck upfront. Seamers from either sides wrecked havoc with the new ball, picking up a total of 6 wickets within the power play. According to Cricmetric, both the teams enhanced their chances of winning significantly, after picking up these early wickets. Let’s dive into some of these match defining moves and performances.

Who changed their team’s fortunes positively ?

Jaydev Unadkat with the new ball

Jaydev Unadkat’s 2017 IPL where he picked up 24 wickets at an economy of just above 7, was a distant memory when he ran in to bowl today. He had 3 seasons in between where he conceded at more than 9 runs an over.

He dismissed both the DC openers and Ajinkya Rahane. The impressive part about Unadkat was how tight his line and lengths were, barely giving room and pitching it up just enough to find movement. 2 of his wickets came through slower balls, where he ran his fingers down the side of the ball against RHBs, but there was some high quality seam bowling in between which paved the way.

Ajinkya Rahane’s dismissal was a classic case in point. He bowled a delivery that jagged back in sharply to beat Rahane’s inside edge. Gauging Rahane would try to force the pace next ball, he delivered a slower one that made the DC number 3 check his shot and the ball lobbed back to Unadkat.

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Rishabh Pant turning the tables

Pant wouldn’t have expected coming in to bat inside the power play at Mumbai. He started sedately by his own standards and exploded with measured shots when Tewatia was introduced. He hit the leg spinner for 3 consecutive boundaries, all through cut shots that toyed with the deep point fielder. Striking at 159, Rishabh’s half century brought DC to a point where their probability of victory was the highest while batting.

Sanju Samson Persisting with Tewatia

Sanju Samson had 2 overs from Muztafizur, 2 from Sakariya and 1 from Morris to close out the innings. But he chose Tewatia to bowl the 16th over. Tewatia leaked 20 runs in his first over bowling at Pant. Credits to Samson for realizing that there were two overseas RHBs who aren’t very proficient playing wrist spin. The leg spinner bowled a crucial 16th over for just 5 runs. Remember, Tewatia played an excellent defensive role for the Royals all through the 2020 IPL.

Muztafizur and the cocked wrists

Muztafizur Rahman hasn’t been at his best since his comeback recently after an elbow injury. But there were signs of his best in his slower balls today. His stock balls had the fizz and zip that we have come to expect from him. His death bowling was on the money mixing up yorkers with those slower ones.

Here is his slower ball that dismissed Stoinis. This is nothing new from Fizz, but we haven’t seen it behave this way for a while now. He grips it just like a slow left arm orthodox would but the point to note is how he cocks his wrists. That’s how Muztafizur generates the dip on those slower balls and the top spin (the bounce and kick after pitching). Hear it from Ravichandran Ashwin himself where he describes how cocking the wrists help him generate more revolutions and dip (around 1:10 in the video below)

Woakes and early wickets

Chris Woakes delivered early wickets for DC second time in a row. He picked up both the RR openers. It is not a surprise that he found movement given that he presents the seam and pitches it up. He got Buttler with a sharp incoming delivery that took his inside edge. Woakes, Rabada and Avesh Khan’s exploits pushed up DC’s win probability to the highest point throughout the match according to Cricmetric. Bonus points to Pant for bringing in Rabada despite a precise opening over from Avesh Khan.

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Morris Mayhem

Though Morris’ batting isn’t what it used to be few years back, he delivered some lusty blows against his favorite type of bowling - pace. According to Cricmetric, before Morris hit Rabada for 2 sixes, RR’s win probability was at a dismal 23%. The DC pacers for their part too failed to go wide and bowled in the arc. They overdid the slower ones too, probably taking a leaf out of the RR bowlers. And Morris did what he is known to do - hit a long ball.

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Pant misses a trick

Ashwin had bowled 3 overs and DC had two LHBs - Miller and Tewatia to content with. Ashwin’s love for LHBs is out in the open. Rishabh missed a trick bowling Stoinis in the 13th over which proved costly. Ashwin concedes only 6.27 against LHBs in the league. Stoinis too bowled too short and put the ball in the hitting zones of Miller, going for 15 runs and 3 consecutive boundaries.

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