After plenty of talks, debates, rebuttals and conferences the IPL season got underway in Chennai. On a pitch, which offered plenty of turn to the spinners, Chennai Super Kings led by Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir spun a web around a hapless Royal Challengers Bangalore as they were bundled out for 70.
The chase was never going to be a difficult proposition, but such was the nature of the pitch that even the home side could not find the needed momentum. Shane Watson departed for a duck, but then this set the stage perfectly for Suresh Raina, who needed just 15 runs to breach the 5000-run mark by a batsman at the IPL.
Suresh Raina leads the way with Virat Kohli at the second spot. Mumbai Indians' skipper Rohit Sharma completes the illustrious top three list.
He was eventually dismissed for 19, but had breezed past the mark as Chennai Super Kings too crawled past the target. For an opening match, it was bit of an anti-climax and even as MS Dhoni was brilliant with his selections and tactics, there is plenty for Virat Kohli to sit down and ponder upon.
Well, Twitter, as usual, had a field day, and it did not spare Kohli and company for the abysmal show.
Looks like team RCB’s leadership read a turning wicket badly badly wrong.. and remember, this is a team with the Indian captain and a World Cup winning coach. When it comes to reading wickets, @msdhoni and team CSK still kings of the ring #CSKvRCB— Citizen/नागरिक/Dost Rajdeep (@sardesairajdeep) March 23, 2019
"No one wants to start like this, but it's good to get a game like this out of the way - this early in the tournament. We spoke of trying to be in the game, taking it to the 18th over was nice to see. The batting wasn't good, it wasn't easy to bat on, looked much better surface though, I thought 140-150 would have been an ideal score, especially with dew expected later on," captain Virat Kohli said after the match.
For MS Dhoni, the pitch was very uncertain and that he was very surprised with the way the pitch behaved on the day.
"But we were really surprised by how slow the wicket was. It reminded me of a Champions League wicket in 2011 after we won the IPL. The wicket definitely needs to be much better, even with dew it was spinning big. 80, 90, 100 is really low-scoring and if you have genuine spinners in your lineup you can create a lot of trouble," Dhoni said after the match.