At the start of the tournament, Chennai Super Kings looked out of colour, while Delhi Daredevils were in top form. As the tournament progressed and reached its business end, the defending champions got back their mojo and that confidence propelled them to the finals of the IPL 5. They registered a comprehensive win over the table topers Daredevils in the second qualifiers, winning it by 86 runs.
Here are few points throwing light on what worked in Chennai’s favour against Delhi at Chinnaswamy stadium on Friday night.
Murali Vijay’s blast
Murali Vijay demolished the much feared Delhi bowling attack fearlessly to register his second IPL century becoming the first Indian to do so. He struck 15 boundaries and 4 sixes in his innings of 113 (58) that set the tone of the match. His batting oozed confidence and intent to perform for his team.
MS Dhoni’s calmness
Much was being said about how MS Dhoni had lost his midas touch and how he has used all of his luck. But the captain of a team that has won two consecutive IPL titles again gave a glowing example of his shrewdness and calm approach to the game by leading his team to yet another final. Not just by his captaincy, the Ranchi lad’s batting also came good when it mattered as he struck a brisk half-century against Mumbai in the eliminator and then scored a quick 23 (10) to take his team to a massive total of 222 runs in the second qualifiers against Delhi.
Virender Sehwag’s poor captaincy
Delhi Daredevils were the hot property of IPL 2012 with their star studded batting line-up and a venom spitting pace attack. Everything seemed to work in their favour until the first qualifier when they lost to Kolkata Knight Riders. Sehwag’s decision to demote Ross Taylor in the batting order came under severe criticism in that match. In the finals, Irfan Pathan got injured so the team dropped Purple cap holder Morne Morkel in favour of Andre Russell to fill the gap of an allrounder. They missed him miserably as their bowlers were spanked all over the park by the Chennai batsmen.
The curious decision to hand off-spinner Sunny Gupta a debut in a crucial match like this was beyond reasoning when they had Shahbaz Nadeem in their ranks who had done reasonably well in the tournament to be included in the playing XI. His decision to come at no 3 when he has opened for the outfit in the previous games also seemed out of tune.
Failure of Delhi batting
Since Kevin Pietersen’s left the squad to fulfill national duty, Delhi’s batting lacked the assuredness. The addition of David Warner in the latter half of the tournament was supposed to make up for the loss. It seemed to work as the Australian showed his class hitting a century against a hapless Deccan Chargers in the league matches. Ross Taylor also failed to make any significant impact. Sehwag too faded away as the tournament progressed.
David Warner and Virender Sehwag dropped one catch each during Chennai’s batting. Electric fielding sometimes raises the spirit of the team as a whole but Delhi failed on this front not once but twice, dropping two sitters. Naman Ojha did took a brilliant one-handed catch to dismiss Michael Hussey but the Australian made up for it by taking a good running catch to halt Sehwag’s innings at just 1 run during Delhi’ chase.