Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - CSK rise with the impact of Jadeja. Prasidh Krishna was at the receiving end as Ravindra Jadeja tilted the balance in CSK's favour in the penultimate over
Prasidh Krishna was at the receiving end as Ravindra Jadeja tilted the balance in CSK's favour in the penultimate over
As the evening sun was starting to pack up in Abu Dhabi, Eoin Morgan faced a big, decisive moment. Andre Russell had hobbled off during the 17th over after feeling a pop in his hamstring. He watched on while just about staying on his feet with the help of the boundary hoarding, as Morgan turned to Prasidh Krishna for the penultimate over.
The mathematics had been done. Russell's unavailability to bowl his fourth meant that Morgan had Prasidh and Sunil Narine to go for in the final two overs, when CSK needed 26 off 12. Not a nerve on the faces on the CSK bench moved as Ravindra Jadeja took guard, even as L Balaji, their bowling coach, felt a sense of deja vu.
Morgan's decision to thrust the young Prasidh into the pressure situation was a calculated move. The end that the 19th over was being bowled from had a shorter leg side boundary for left-handers, which may have played into the hands of Jadeja and Sam Curran had Sunil Narine been handed the ball. Even a couple of unconvincing leg side swipes against the slower bowler would've sailed over and quickly titled the game away from KKR. This move gave Morgan the chance to pit CSK's two southpaws against Narine and the bigger leg side dimensions in the 20th over, and hope for a late squeeze.
But when the cold calculations of Morgan met with Jadeja's marauding bat swing, there was only one winner. The chase had entered a phase where mini-turnarounds came in thick and fast, until Prasidh bowled a slow short ball on the leg side, allowing Jadeja the time to swivel-pull it over deep square leg. Morgan got calculative again, bringing his fine leg and deep square leg inside and pushing his long on back.
But once again Jadeja was in the best position to render those tweaks worthless, hitting a fuller ball in his arc way over long on. The underfire Prasidh overcompensated by going wide outside the off-stump and missed the yorker by quite a margin and watched in horror as Jadeja picked up eight more runs behind point, dragging the equation down from 26 off 12 to 4 of 6.
“I thought when Ravi (Jadeja) was playing, he'd do some magic,” Balaji later said. Jadeja's 8-ball 22 rekindled one of the few fond memories from 2020 for Balaji, when the all-rounder bailed CSK out from a similar situation against the same opponent in Dubai, with a 11-ball 31.
Jadeja bowled stingy, straight lines to pull the metaphorical handbrakes on KKR's batting flourish
But in a fixture between two deep batting line-ups with similarly expansively middle-overs philosophy, it was what Jadeja couldn't do all of last season that mattered on Sunday. 2020 proved to be the left-armer's worst season with the ball, but there were a couple of outings in the India leg of this edition where he appeared to shrug that form off.
KKR began exactly like they did against MI in chase just a couple of days before, batting with a lot of abandon on a slow and sticky Abu Dhabi pitch to get 50 in the PowerPlay overs that included a wicket-maiden. If CSK had watched footage from that game, they'd have known fully well that they stood on the cusp of the most important phase of the fixture, with Rahul Tripathi – the chief tormentor of MI's middle-overs bowling – standing at the other end and showing the same levels of adrenaline-pumping urgency.
Jadeja blunted that expertly with a spell where Tripathi just couldn't find his range again. The sweeps and the feet movement that he fearlessly unleashed against Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya the other night were severely restrained, fetching only singles. Taming Tripathi at this point meant taming KKR, as they had two out-of-sorts batsmen in Eoin Morgan and Nitish Rana to then get a move on.
The frustration of only being able to pick singles and stray twos forced an over-ambitious attempt from Tripathi to throw Jadeja off his stingy, straight lines. Jadeja, saw Tripathi switching up early for a reverse sweep, and fired a quicker one (at 106kmph) that sneaked in to hit the stumps even before he completed his stroke.
Jadeja successfully punctured KKR's essay that was brimming with potential, to finish with a spell of 1 for 21, that included 5 dot balls. More crucially, the remaining 19 involved 17 singles and two twos – pulling the metaphorical handbrakes on KKR's flourish.
KKR still got to a target they had in their sights at the halfway stage, but that was down to four manic overs that cost CSK 50 runs. Dhoni's side will expect to have far better days with the ball at the death, with Jadeja's impact through the middle-overs serving a bigger purpose.