First-day first-show: CSK’s new era gets off to winning note at IPL 2024, RCB’s Chennai woes continue | Ipl News

Chennai Super Kings captain Ruturaj Gaikwad with CSK teammates MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja during the IPL 2024 match against RCB at MA Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai. (PTI Photo)

CSK vs RCB Synopsis: At a venue where they have historically struggled, Royal Challengers Bengaluru suffered another defeat despite a lower-order rally from their batting unit. Chennai Super Kings held their nerves to start off a new era on a victorious note.

Chepauk remains bogey venue for RCB

Since beating CSK at Chepauk in the inaugural edition of the IPL, RCB has yet to win a game here. Their record now stands 1-8 at the venue. RCB’s wait extended as the batting unit once again struggled to get used to the slowness of the surface. In conditions that are far different to the ones they find back home, RCB’s struggles here are not surprising. Apart from lacking the batsmen who can ace spinners, their formula largely has been to go aggressive with the bat.

Despite dew being a factor, Faf du Plessis wanted their batting unit to have a first go on the pitch where Chennai’s spinners could make the most out of these conditions. It looked every bit a calculated risk and as du Plessis fetched seven boundaries inside the first five overs, a daunting total looked a possibility. But as Mustafizur Rahman landed four blows in his first 10 deliveries, RCB were reduced to 78/5. “It was not the typical Chepauk pitch. But Fizz bowled brilliantly. He was very deceptive and that is what makes it very difficult to pick him. It is not going to be easy for the batsmen,” Dinesh Karthik said.

Rescue act

They looked down and out. But through Anuj Rawat and Dinesh Karthik, Bengaluru would not just survive the storm but also recover to post a total that would give something for the bowlers to work on. With none of the Chennai bowlers apart from Rahman, hitting the right notes, the left-right duo first managed to steady the ship before going on a rampage in the end. Karthik, who is likely playing his last game at his home ground (unless RCB makes the play-offs and Chennai play hosts), played the second fiddle as Rawat teed off.

With the pitch slowing down, they needed to be inventive with their strokes. And they precisely did that. As Chennai’s attack mixed their pace, they stuck to hitting them straight down the ground. And once they were on top, they put the pressure back on the Super Kings by bringing out the ramp shots and scoops. As boundaries flowed, Chennai looked rattled for the first time on the night. A total of 173/6 was never going to be enough, particularly with dew in play. But it was definitely not going to be a walk in the park.

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First impressions

The Chepauk had already voiced its approval by clearing their throats when new skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad’s name was announced by the PA during the opening ceremony. After AR Rahman, it was Gaikwad who had received the loudest whistles. It was in contrast to what many of the CSK players witnessed last season. On Friday, the cheers from the stands showed the Chepauk faithful too have taken baby steps towards the change of guard. And whatever nerves Gaikwad had, was quickly settled as he started the innings with a pull shot that went for a boundary. He ended the first over from Mohammed Siraj with another four, and Chennai’s chase was well on track.

Even as Gaikwad took his time, at the other end, Rachin Ravindra, playing his first IPL game, looked the part. Having impressed one and all with his performances at the World Cup last year, Rachin’s timing was once again to the fore here. He may not be the most powerful of strikers, but with shots all around the park, he can be tough to bowl at in the powerplay. Despite missing Devon Conway, CSK got another perfect start at the top. A first-day-first-show experience in Chennai tends to provide a frenzy like no other and the one on Friday was no different as two men made good first impressions.

Wobble in the middle

With the majority of the Super Kings XI arriving only at the start of the week, the only concern was how rusty they would be. It showed to an extent. After losing Gaikwad, Chennai lost a bit of steam in the middle. After Rachin holed out at deep square leg,

Ajinkya Rahane fell for a 19-ball 27. Daryl Mitchel started off on a strong note, taking down Karn Sharma for two sixes, but struggled for timing on the night.

When Mitchell fell in the 13th over, with Impact Player Shivam Dube struggling to against short-pitched deliveries, Chennai’s chase began to wobble. RCB sensed a window of opportunity out of nowhere as dot balls added to the drama. The only question was who would blink first. Though boundaries dried up, Dube and Ravindra Jadeja ran hard between the wickets before the former managed to find a six off Glenn Maxwell. And off the 16th and 17th overs that fetched them 12 and 16 runs, Chennai found momentum before Dube provided the finishing touches off Alazzari Joseph’s 19th over.

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