IPL CSK vs RCB | Super Kings reap the rewards of smart auction picks

IPL CSK vs RCB | Super Kings reap the rewards of smart auction picks

Value for money: CSK’s new players Mustafizur and Ravindra proved their worth in the team’s victory.
| Photo Credit: JOTHI RAMALINGAM B

Chennai Super Kings couldn’t have asked for a better start to its 2024 IPL campaign after a comprehensive win over Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the opening game on Friday.

The victory followed the Super Kings’ tried-and-tested template of using spinners to choke the runs, complemented by its batters’ aggressive approach looking for boundaries throughout the innings.

More importantly, the success validated the team’s brilliant auction strategy as three debutants made a telling impact.

With opener Devon Conway and pacer Matheesha Pathirana unavailable, their replacements — Rachin Ravindra and Mustafizur Rahman — stepped up to the task immediately.

Left-arm pacer Mustafizur (four for 29) set things up first with his double twin strikes in his first two overs that left RCB tottering at 78 for five. From there, the visitors had to be content with just a par score. The defending champion got the Bangladeshi pacer at a base price of ₹2 crore and it was one of the best buys. After the auction in December 2023, Indian cricketer R. Ashwin praised the signing, saying the 28-year-old could be lethal on the grippy surfaces in Chepauk with his cutters and it proved prescient. The ‘Fizz’ flummoxed Faf du Plessis, Virat Kohli and Cameron Green with his cutters and was proved hard to get away.

Then Ravindra, another steal at the auction for just ₹1.8 crore, set up the chase brilliantly with his 15-ball 37. The stylish left-hander kept things simple, hitting it on the rise with pulls and flicks to immediately put RCB under the pump.

Mitchell.

Mitchell.
| Photo Credit:
VEDHAN M

Later, Daryl Mitchell showed what he could do with his cameo knock and why the team splurged ₹14 crore to pick him. The Kiwi took just a few balls before lofting leg-spinner Karn Sharma straight down the ground for consecutive sixes to keep the momentum through the middle overs.

Though it is early days, well begun is half-done and Super Kings can feel good about their homework paying off.

Meanwhile, Pathirana has joined the squad while Mustafizur will be available only till April 30 owing to national duty.

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