R Ashwin, the Indian cricketer, knows exactly how important a good bounce is to a successful batting performance. Even when playing on an adopted home ground like Jaipur, he is able to read the conditions and know when it’s not the kind of pitch where you can just come in and tee off. The bounce can make or break a batsman’s confidence at the crease and without it, even the best batters can struggle. Similar to this particular game, it can lead to unexpected outcomes that keep spectators at the edge of their seats. A game of cricket is not always a game of skill, the conditions can play a huge role in the result of the match.
Rajasthan Royals‘ bowlers brought their A-game to the match against Lucknow Super Giants. Right from the first over, the ball skidded through low enough that getting under it and putting power on it just became impossible. The bowlers did not let up, not giving up even a single stump. According to ESPNcricinfo’s ball-by-ball data, 94 of the 120 balls ended up on or just outside the line of those three LED sticks. It was sheer dominance by the bowling unit, leaving the Lucknow Super Giants with precious little opportunity to play their power game. Their 37 for 0 was comfortably the lowest powerplay score of the season for no wickets lost. Rajasthan Royals’ bowlers had clearly done their homework and executed their plans to perfection!
The Super Giants seemed to be on a roll as they built an 18-run over on top of a 13-run over. All eyes were on them as they approached the nine-over mark with a score of 74 for 0. With the ESPNcricinfo forecaster predicting that they would reach 173, everyone was expecting a dominant performance from their batsmen. However, things took a turn when KL Rahul and Kyle Mayers found a bit of second wind and targeted the one bowler who wasn’t suited to these conditions – Yuzvendra Chahal. Despite his reputation for tossing the ball up and wide, preying on sloggers’ desire to hit him leg side, he was unable to stop the onslaught from Mayers and Rahul. The duo connected cleanly and smashed his deliveries out of the park, leaving everyone in awe of their performance.
In the world of cricket, there is nothing quite like a fast-paced, high-scoring game. And that’s exactly what fans got when they witnessed Rahul’s 14-ball blitz in 2018 – the fastest fifty of the tournament. But fast forward to this year’s IPL and his strike rate has fallen to 114.79, which is the third-lowest among those who have scored at least 50 runs. However, it’s important to note that this time it wasn’t his fault. Even seasoned players like Jos Buttler struggled early on, scoring only 5 off 14, while Shimron Hetmyer was caught out trying to clear the whole ground. It just goes to show that sometimes, even the best players can have an off day.
The Super Giants may have emerged victorious at the end of the match, but it was not without a struggle. Top-scorer Shane Mayers spoke candidly about the difficulties he faced while batting, describing it as “not one of those innings that I dream of playing.” The variable bounce of the pitch proved to be the biggest challenge, making it difficult for the batsmen to anticipate the ball’s movement. Mayers had to adjust his approach accordingly, aiming straight and giving the bowlers his stumps. Despite their hard-fought victory, the team still faces a persistent issue that needs to be addressed if they want to continue their winning streak.
It’s a question that has been on the minds of cricket fans throughout this year’s IPL – why is Nicholas Pooran only facing an average of 14 balls per innings? With his impressive strike rate of 200 and a standout performance against Royal Challengers Bangalore, it’s clear that Pooran has the potential to take over any match. However, he has been limited to just brief appearances with only two innings where he has had a significant amount of time at the crease. While it’s unclear what the reasoning behind this strategy is, one thing is for sure – if Pooran is given the opportunity to showcase his skills, he could prove to be one of the most valuable players in this year’s competition.
During the recent T20 game, Tom Moody was left scratching his head when trying to make sense of the limited time Pooran and Stoinis had on the pitch. Both specialist batters faced a mere 36 balls combined in a 120-ball game, leaving many questioning the Super Giants’ strategy. With such a solid start, it’s unclear why there wasn’t an opportunity for one of them to come in at the fall of the first wicket. According to Moody, this bizarre move may be due to a lack of confidence in the lower-middle order, leaving fans and analysts alike wondering what tactics the Super Giants will implement in their next game.
Teams in the IPL are always walking a tightrope when it comes to their batting order. It’s a constant balancing act between maximizing your best players’ opportunities while also hedging against the possibility of early wickets. Pooran is a perfect example of this. As a player who thrives on time in the middle, it makes sense to promote him up the order. But what happens if it all goes wrong? What happens if he falls for a first-ball duck? It’s a tricky situation for any team, and one that requires some serious contingency planning. But ultimately, it’s a risk that teams must be willing to take if they want to win in a high-stakes tournament like the IPL.
In the world of IPL cricket, managing damage is a crucial part of the game. With matches frequently going down to the wire, teams need to strategize how to maximize their biggest guns in the middle. For the Super Giants, Pooran has proven to be that weapon. Despite only facing an average of 14 balls per innings, he’s still striking at an impressive 200. His contribution to the team has been valuable, as they currently sit just shy of first place on net run rate. While some may question limiting Pooran’s opportunities, the Super Giants seem content with their decision. It’s all about making the most out of the opportunities presented, and Pooran has been the key to their success thus far.