Glenn Maxwell’s Man of the Match performance :
You usually associate Glenn Maxwell with some genius hitting or reckless hitting. But, today Maxwell was anything but reckless. He picked his moments to attack even though he ended up with a 140+ strike rate, which is higher than an average batsman at Chennai over the years of IPL. While he did what was expected from him - bashing all sorts of bowling, he went at just run a ball against Rashid Khan. Maxwell’s boundaries, except one, came down the ground, which is the best way to minimize risk in this Chennai surface.
Shahbaz Ahmed’s match turning over
While Shahbaz’s promotion to number 3 in the batting order, did not come off as expected, he picked 3 wickets in an over to break the back of SRH chase. Operating between 90kph and 98kph, Shahbaz has upped his pace from last season. In a typical Chennai surface, you just need to take care of your lengths and pace, and let the surface do the rest. I will call this grouping of balls from Shahbaz Ahmed as ‘the cluster that caused the clutter’. It was all about basics - consistently hitting the 3/4th length and cramping them for room with a hint of turn.
Was it so simple as I am making it out to be? Not really, considering a young spinner coming in for his 1st over when the match is on the line and landing the ball consistently.
Yet another chase bottled, what’s happening ?
Warner got going in the final over of the power play and kept his tempo to score a well constructed half-century. But, the power play specialist Saha continued his struggle at Chennai. And so did Manish Pandey. While Saha was tormented by some quality new ball bowling, Pandey struggled to find any momentum. Nearly half the balls Pandey faced were dot balls, in a ground where boundaries are hard to come by with a semi new or old ball. His less than run a ball innings left the lower middle order with a task of striking from their very first ball - something that is next to impossible in such a slow surface.
Both Saha and Pandey like pace on the ball and that is reflected by how they have performed at Chennai and Delhi traditionally. The drop in strike rates is quite significant for Saha who is tasked with cashing in during the power play.
Why is starting fast more crucial in Chennai and even more so in the 2nd innings?
Scoring becomes increasingly difficult as the ball gets softer at Chepauk. If you contrast this with Mumbai, you will see the stark difference in approach needed. The onus is on the top order to get going faster. This is how things went in IPL 2018 and 2019 at Chennai.
A split between 1st and 2nd innings shows how it becomes more difficult as the match progresses at Chennai. The team batting 2nd has to get going even faster given this fact.