The Mystery Of CSK’s Batting Line-Up And Vinay Kumar’s Presence In Indian Cricket

29

After 1,095 days, as Star Sports’ presenters and commentators repeatedly told us last night, Chennai Super Kings returned home. The Chepauk was so yellow that it was indistinguishable from a Yash Raj Films set. Last night’s crowd got to see their team – the most successful team in the Indian Premier League’s history – win again.

What they witnessed was a very familiar sight for IPL viewers across the country: A powerhouse team with the same core – MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, and Dwayne Bravo – snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. They celebrated yet another heist by the team as Jadeja and Bravo took advantage of an atrocious last over.

To neutral viewers and cricket enthusiasts, though, this seemed like virtually nothing had changed in the last three years that CSK have been in exile. They’re still a star-studded team with jewels from virtually every continent. They still have one of the best minds in world cricket leading them.

And they still continue to scrape wins when they should be cruising to them.

Just think about the batters they have at their disposal. Shane Watson, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, and Dwayne Bravo. Ambati Rayudu, an IPL specialist, is actually the weakest link in this line-up. Think of the names that have donned the yellow in the first eight seasons. Albie Morkel, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Mike Hussey, Matthew Hayden.

ALSO READ:  Dear Muslims Or Indian Muslims Do Listen!

Now think about whether this sounds familiar: the weakest batters in the team are sent up the order, while heavyweights like Dhoni, Bravo, Albie Morkel etc are pushed down. The top order doesn’t do too well, but the likes of Jadeja are still sent above Bravo, Morkel, and sometimes even Dhoni. These big players, especially Bravo and Morkel, have to then come in with very little time to spare and save the day.

Sure, a few minor changes have been made. Dhoni did promote himself in the last couple of seasons CSK played. A power-hitter like Watson is now opening the innings and another, like Sam Billings is at least batting above Jadeja. But what has also changed is Dhoni the batter, whose struggle to play the big shots is almost painful to watch, effectively ensuring the same thing: the lower order having to bail the team out.

Among the most successful IPL franchises (Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai), it’s safe to say that CSK are the most poorly managed. It’s probably the reason why they didn’t win the league after 2011. Star power can only get you so far, and when other franchises realised that the key to success wasn’t getting the biggest names, but about managing them, CSK fell behind.

ALSO READ:  Mirza Rahmatullah Baig, Hyderabad’s Forgotten Cricket Coach

The second takeaway of the night was Kolkata Knight Riders virtually throwing the match away due to poor tactical decisions. This is the first time Dinesh Karthik is captaining a team at this level, so there was bound to be a bit of a learning curve. But it’s still very difficult to explain why the weakest bowler in the team was earmarked to bowl the last over, especially in a team that prides itself on its bowling and fields six bowling options.

Even more baffling is the fact that Vinay Kumar seems to be in the team only to bowl a maximum of two overs. That too, seems to be only when more than one of their bowlers is having an off day (KKR’s definition of an “off day” is hard to understand, since no one has bowled worse than Kumar in the two matches so far).

Last night, Vinay Kumar had 17 runs to defend in the last over against two batters who were new to the crease. Despite T20 cricket being a chaser’s format, you’d count on the bowler to prevail in this situation more often than not. All he had to do was keep his nerve, which isn’t much to expect from a 34-year-old veteran. But Kumar bowled a waist-high full toss on leg stump, a wide, and a length ball. These effectively sealed the game for CSK.

ALSO READ:  Innovative Captaincy: Ravichandran Ashwin, The Boost Kings XI Punjab Needed

The bigger issue this highlights isn’t KKR’s poor tactics or Kumar’s mistakes, but the abysmally low standard of domestic cricket in India. Vinay Kumar captains Karnataka in domestic cricket, and led them to two consecutive Ranji-Irani-Vijay Hazare Trophy trebles in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Incidentally, Kumar became the only captain to score a century and take a five-wicket haul in a Ranji final in 2014-15. He averages 23 runs a wicket and strikes every 49 balls in first-class cricket – numbers that seem mightily impressive.

In the IPL, a tournament which has near-international standards of cricket, Vinay Kumar has a dreadful economy rate of 8.4.

IPL franchises often give one, or even more of the four precious foreign-player slots to cricketers who don’t even qualify for the international teams in their own countries. That’s the level at which domestic-level players are in countries like Australia and South Africa.

But India, the largest cricketing nation in the world, continues to produce Vinay Kumars. #KhabarLive



SHARE
Previous article‘All Is Not Well’ In BJP, Sidelined Senior Leaders Are Waiting For ‘Modi To Slip’
Next articleThe Lifestyle Of ‘Hijras’ Are Under Sheer Societal Neglect
A senior journalist, aged 54, having 25 years of experience in national and international publications and media houses across the globe. A multi-lingual personality with multi-tasking skills on his work. He belongs to Hyderabad in India. WHO AM I An award-winning, qualified, experienced, cutting-edge and result-oriented Entrepreneur and Journalist (with a side of 'Philosophy of Happiness'...real course I promise!), my career began in India reviewing & marketing news reporting, editing and research writing. Since then, I have immersed myself in creative industry and written about everything from shamanic healing to garden conservatories, from plumbing technologies to six star retreats, and from human trafficking to the best Cronuts. Now I spend my days blending powerful language & beautiful visuals, to help brands narrate who they are, what they do and why they do it.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Faytech North America is a touch screen Manufacturer of both monitors and pcs. They specialize in the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of Capacitive touch screen, Resistive touch screen, Industrial touch screen, IP65 touch screen, touchscreen monitors and integrated touchscreen PCs. Contact them at http://www.faytech.us, 121 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013, +1 646 205 3214

  2. MetroClick specializes in building completely interactive products like Photo Booth for rental or sale, Touch Screen Kiosks, Large Touch Screen Displays , Monitors, Digital Signages and experiences. With our own hardware production facility and in-house software development teams, we are able to achieve the highest level of customization and versatility for Photo Booths, Touch Screen Kiosks, Touch Screen Monitors and Digital Signage. Visit MetroClick at http://www.metroclick.com/ or , 121 Varick St, New York, NY 10013, +1 646-843-0888

  3. Since 1998, Clean Services Northwest company has been offering window cleaning, window washers, window cleaners to companies, businesses and organizations in the greater Portland Metro Area, providing quality property maintenance services at a fair price. Clean Services Northwest specializes in window cleaning, pressure washing, carpet cleaning, and gutter cleaning. They also perform other specialized maintenance tasks, such as roof cleaning, vent cleaning, and construction cleanup. Our technicians will have your building or facility looking great, whether we have left the glass sparkling, the concrete brightened, the flooring spotless, or all of the above. Visit us at http://www.cleanservicesnorthwest.com/ or Clean Services Northwest, 8910 SE Fuller Rd, Happy Valley, OR 97086, USA

  4. I just intend to inform you you that I am new to writing a blog and certainly liked your site. Very likely I am most likely to bookmark your blog post . You literally have impressive article blog posts. Get Pleasure From it for giving out with us all of your internet webpage

  5. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  6. Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  7. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.