At the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, often referred to as a graveyard for bowlers, Super Kings badly missed an overseas speedster who could operate with raw pace. While Hazlewood’s replacement Jason Behrendorff is yet to arrive in India, Lungi Ngidi is unavailable until at least the side’s second match against Punjab Kings (PBKS) on April 16.
Lacking depth, CSK was left with no option but to go with a four-pronged pace attack that comprised Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran and Dwayne Bravo. On a batting belter, Delhi openers Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan made mincemeat of the bowling unit while successfully chasing 189 in 18.4 overs.
Thakur (2 for 53 in 3.4 overs), Chahar (0 for 36 in 4 overs) and Curran (0 for 24 in 2 overs) endured a torrid time, with only slow-ball specialist Bravo (1 for 28 in 4 overs) delivering an inspiring effort. And, the team’s head coach Stephen Fleming was fairly upset at the post-match press conference, echoing skipper MS Dhoni’s words.
“I am disappointed that we were unable to create chances with the ball. We planned to have Hazlewood as an option for these games. It is a big blow. Fast bowling is an area we are short on. But, we still look at the Indians and international bowler Curran. We probably expected a little bit more from them,” said Fleming.
“Bowling second was difficult and we will get to learn a lot. The dew was heavy, so we have to find a way to shut a team down. Bravo showed how to do it. Fast bowling is an area where we will be spending time before the next game.” On a rather disappointing night for CSK, Suresh Raina shone bright on his comeback with a fluent 36-ball 54.
Fleming was full of praise for Raina, who missed the previous edition in the UAE but batted on Saturday as if he was never away from the game. “He was really good, considering the cricket and where he has come from. It was an outstanding innings. We used Suresh in an aggressive role to find some form. His form is a positive sign for us,” added Fleming.