IPL 2019: Match 46, Delhi Capitals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – A tactic that cost RCB the game

Shikhar Dhawan was named as the player of the match for his 37-ball 50.

Shikhar Dhawan & Shreyas Iyer
Shikhar Dhawan & Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sampath Bandarupalli

Sr. Statistician

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Shikhar Dhawan’s form has become a talking point in the Delhi Capitals’ line-up as the opener has become quite effective since he changed his approach. Things started to change following his golden duck against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the game played at the Chinnaswamy Stadium a few weeks ago. In the six matches since Dhawan has scored 299 runs at an average of 59.8 and a strike-rate of 151.

With a variety of batsmen lined-up in the middle-order, Dhawan needed to continue his approach against RCB to push away the pressure on the young batsmen. The Indian limited-overs opener did the needful scoring a 37-ball 50 with the help of five fours and two sixes. This allowed the home team to finish on 187/5 in their 20 overs and end up winning the game by a 16-run margin.

The match-up that RCB needed:

Yuzvendra Chahal was a perfect match-up for Shikhar Dhawan given the latter’s struggles in their duel in the IPL. Dhawan scored 38 off 39 balls with only one boundary against Chahal and was dismissed twice. Since 2016, he scored only 14 runs from 15 deliveries getting out twice without hitting a boundary. Dhawan had his share of struggles while sweeping fuller deliveries against the wrist spinners which were turning into him.

What RCB actually did:

The Royal Challengers Bangalore brought Yuzvendra Chahal into the attack in the 3rd over. Dhawan welcomed the leg-spinner with a six and followed with a boundary on the 4th ball of the over. Soon, Virat Kohli removed Chahal to bring in Navdeep Saini. Given the form Dhawan was been in RCB should have allowed Chahal to bowl at least one more over against the opener.

They could have afforded Saini bowling at Shreyas Iyer & Co in the middle overs. The Delhi Capitals skipper is a lot comfortable against spinners in comparison with the pacers. The way he played against the likes of Washington Sundar and Chahal later in the game was a testament to that. Dhawan’s 37-ball 50, in the end, was awarded the player of the match as it built the momentum for the hosts to reach a big total.

Shikhar Dhawan was finally dismissed in the 13th over where he premeditated a sweep shot against Chahal only to find Sundar at the short fine-leg. In the very next over, Chahal also claimed the wicket of another left-hander, Rishabh Pant. The Delhi keeper completely missed the line of the delivery that turned into him. The wickets Chahal got only show the error Royal Challengers made while challenging Dhawan early on.

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