IPL 2018: Five Biggest mistakes teams committed in the third week

IPL 2018: Five Biggest mistakes teams committed in the third week

The third week of the IPL 2018 has been a whirlwind to say the best, with close encounters, teams getting bowled out for paltry totals and mammoth run chases, all thrown into the mix together.

Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav of RCB celebrates a wicket. (Photo Source: Twitter)

In a tournament as fast-paced as the Indian Premier League (IPL), the room for error for each and every team is very sparse. Quite understandably, the teams committing the lowest number of blunders enjoy the view from the top spots of the rankings table while the not-so prudent ones find themselves lurking around at the bottom half of the table. The third week of the IPL 2018 has been a whirlwind to say the best, with close encounters, teams getting bowled out for paltry totals and mammoth run chases, all thrown into the mix together.

The third week saw some huge mistakes from the top sides, leading to surprising results that startled one and all. Be it the bizarre decision from the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli to bowl out two of his best bowlers before the death overs or the Mumbai Indians batsmen collapsing like a row of dominoes, the errors cost their respective teams dearly and pushed them down the cliff to the abyss of defeat. Let’s take a look at how some of the franchises went wrong with their approaches this week.

1. RCB bowling out Umesh Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal before death overs

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal of Royal Challengers Bangalore celebrates. (Photo by IANS)

Bowling has been the RCB’s Achilles’s Heel since time immemorial. In spite of strong batting performances year in and year out, the Virat Kohli-led side manages to choke at the rear end of the innings when defending their run tally, thanks to their wobbly bowling department. Having scored a gargantuan total of 205 runs in the first innings against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), RCB had been riding high on the 68-run knock of AB de Villiers and the quickfire 32 runs from Mandeep Singh.

However, the entire batting effort went to waste when the duo of Ambati Rayudu-MS Dhoni took the crease for CSK. The two best bowlers for RCB, Umesh Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal had been in good shape, with the former bowling like a dream. Yadav and Chahal not only picked up the crucial wickets of Suresh Raina, Sam Billings and Ravindra Jadeja but also considerably dried up the run flow for the opposition, making the chase look like a distant landmark for the CSK. Then came the bizarre decision from the RCB skipper to bowl out Yadav and Chahal in the middle overs of the innings, putting the responsibility on unseasoned bowlers like Corey Anderson and Washington Sundar to cover the final overs.

One could argue that Kohli had been making a desperate attempt to nip the CSK batting in the bud and Yadav-Chahal being his wicket-taking bowlers needed to bowl in the middle overs for that plan to succeed. However, the ruse backfired heavily as Anderson and Sundar were taken for a ride in the death overs by Rayudu-Dhoni and CSK reached the target with 2 balls to spare, snatching a sure victory from right under RCB’s nose.

2. KKR dropping Shreyas Iyer twice

Shreyas Iyer
Delhi Daredevils’ Shreyas Iyer in action. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

The Delhi Daredevils (DD) camp has been caught up in a hullabaloo for the last couple of days, ever since Gautam Gambhir announced his decision to step down as the captain of the side and the reins were handed over to young Shreyas Iyer. In such conditions, very few would’ve expected the DD team to come up with something special against the strong Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) side in Friday’s encounter. Proving all sceptics wrong, DD put up a humongous total of 219 runs on the board batting first.

Although young Prithvi Shaw set the stage for DD’s redemptive innings, it was the new skipper who hit the KKR bowlers out of the park, left, right and centre. What hurt the Dinesh Karthik-led side more were the two dropped catches of Iyer in the 17th and 18th over. Not only did these dropped chances give Iyer new lives at the crease but also gave him the chance to stay on and score 29 runs off the last over. Apart from Andre Russel, KKR weren’t able to put up a resistance and ended up on the losing side by a margin of 55 runs.

3. KXIP underestimating the lethal Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan celebrates a wicket. (Photo Source: Twitter)

When you’re placed at one of the top rungs of the points table in the IPL and you find yourself chasing a target of 133, it’s no wonder that you’ll be confident of bringing the game home. However, it’s crucial to not let that confidence change into complacency and that’s exactly what the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) failed to do in their clash against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Ankit Rajpoot bowled splendidly for the Hyderabad side and KXIP never really got going in the first innings with the bat, save Manish Pandey (54).

The opening pair of KXIP in the form of KL Rahul and Chris Gayle seemed to be running with the game for the first few overs and then came the mystery Afghan bowler, Rashid Khan, who turned the tables upside down! As Khan ripped through the SRH batting order, claiming one wicket after the other, the Hyderabad batsmen seemed to completely bamboozled by his leg-break bowling. The mistake of Rashid Khan’s lethal bowling prowess turned out to be a major blunder for the R Ashwin-led side as KXIP crumbled within 119 runs, handing SRH a 13-run victory at the end of a nail-biting encounter.

4. MI losing wickets in clumps against SRH

Mumbai Indians (MI) have undoubtedly been one of the strongest sides in the IPL, with three titles to their name. But nothing seems to be going right for them this time around. Rohit Sharma’s boys have been unable to embark on winning ways and have found themselves stuck at the bottom of the barrel consistently. Therefore, when MI was able to bowl out SRH for a meagre total of 118 runs right in their backyard, the mighty Wankhede Stadium, the lads would’ve believed that they’d got the game in their pockets. Young Mayank Markande, Mitchell McClenaghan and Hardik Pandya chipped in with 2 wickets each, to fortify Mumbai’s bowling attack.

But alas for the Mumbai fans! Low scoring run-chases are known to be notorious for causing some of the major upsets in the IPL and that’s exactly what happened. The way the game unfolded in the second innings left the spectators stunned as Mumbai lost 6 wickets for just 26 runs. Although opener Suryakumar Yadav gave a solid start to the team’s batting efforts, he was unable to capitalise on it and the rest of the batting order collapsed like a deck of cards. There were 9 single digit scores in the Mumbai innings, bearing witness to the horrendous run chase that they put up. MI was eventually bowled out for just 87 runs.

5. DD bowlers bowling the wrong length to AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers plays a shot. (Photo Source: Twitter)

AB de Villiers is famed as the living legend of the entire game of Cricket and more so, of the IPL. The man possesses sensational batting finesse and an unparalleled cricketing sense, making him a dangerous batsman to bowl to. Thus,  it’s only inevitable that once your bowlers start bowling the wrong line and length to ABD, you’re doomed. Batting first, DD was able to put up a below-par score of 174 runs on the board owing to Rishabh Pant’s heroics. In a ground as small as the Chinnaswamy, DD needed to bowl tight and scalp quick wickets in order to have a shot at winning the game.

The dismissals of Quinton de Kock and Manan Vohra in the initial stage of the RCB innings seemed to have opened up a crack for the DD bowlers, but it was not to be. Once AB de Villiers was at the crease, even experienced bowlers like Chris Morris and Trent Boult were unable to make a dent. The DD bowlers faltered in their lines and as a consequence, de Villiers put on his magic hat and conjured a stunning unbeaten knock worth 90 runs off just 39 deliveries, taking RCB home quite comfortably and costing DD another 2 points in the IPL.