IPL 2021: How Jos Buttler's six cost Rajasthan Royals the match against Chennai Super Kings

Wankhede’s Royal Collapse ft. Jos Buttler’s power, Ravindra Jadeja’s spin and MS Dhoni’s mastermind.

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MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja
MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja. (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar VIP)

On April 19, when Chennai Super Kings finished their innings on 188, Rajasthan Royals were well and truly in the game. Well, only on paper. But, on the Wankhede field stood MS Dhoni and his men, masters of defending scores in the IPL. What wasn’t going to favor CSK was the surface and the dew. You see, Dhoni’s CSK has built a reputation for being good defenders of low scores but at the Chepauk pitch in Chennai, which so far in the IPL 2021 has exactly turned out how their home team would have liked. 

But, this was Mumbai. This is where dew comes at night, making it terribly difficult for the bowlers, especially spinners to control the ball. Among one of the aspects of our game is the behavior of the cricket ball once it becomes wet. And this happens a lot in Mumbai and happened just a night before when Delhi cruised their way to chase 196 against Punjab Kings. 

The Mumbai dew, a nightmare and a flashback for MS Dhoni

At the mid-innings show, Chetan Sakariya, who finished with 3 for 36 for Rajasthan Royals, was asked by Harsha Bhogle whether there was dew. The young chap responded saying yes, smiling, as if this was going to win them the match. And it seemed like this was going to be the case until the end of the first half of Rajasthan’s run chase. 

If the 2008 Champions had to win the match, it was going to be one between Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson to stay till the end to see through this chase. However, captain Samson fell early once again. Buttler kept them in the game batting cautiously. Despite losing two wickets in the powerplay, the Englishman’s counterattack kept the hopes alive. 

When Ravindra Jadeja came into the attack in the seventh over, right after the powerplay, Buttler took on the left-arm orthodox, reverse sweeping him twice for four in the first three balls. Moments after this, Jadeja was seen with a towel in his hand rubbing the dew away from the ball. It happened again, the dew had just arrived much to the delight of Rajasthan. 

At this very moment, it seemed like a deja-vu of the 2016 T20 World Cup semi-final, when the dew didn’t allow MS Dhoni to bowl his premier spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin for more than two overs. West Indies with a bunch of skilled T20 players took away the match from India at the Wankhede. Five years later, Dhoni once again, behind the stumps, with Jadeja and an off-spinner in the team had to win against opposition and the dew. 

The Jos Buttler six which cost Rajasthan Royals the match

In the fifth delivery of the 10th over, Jadeja bowled a no-ball which was short to Buttler. The powerful Englishman rocked back and smashed the ball between deep mid-wicket and cow corner and deposited it in the stands. For some reason, the umpires failed to retrieve the ball. The wet ball which had dew-soaked on it, which was going to help Rajasthan bat comfortably against the spinners was gone. 

The umpires brought in a new ball quickly. MS Dhoni, who was heard lashing on Shardul Thakur in the previous over, should have been mad at Jadeja for bowling short and getting hit for a six, something which Mr. Bhogle predicted on air. However, the captain cool knew what had just happened. He knew with the massive six, Buttler sent the chances of Rajasthan’s win out of the park. Just before the free hit, Dhoni was heard saying ‘Shukha ball hai, goomega’, which translates to ‘it is a dry ball, it will turn.’

Dhoni-Jadeja plotting wins it for CSK

Jadeja restricted the free-hit for just a single, finishing his over. Dwayne Bravo bowled the 11th, and Jadeja came in for the 12th again. As the left-arm spinner stood on his mark, Dhoni from the back can be heard saying how the ball could now grip a bit and turn away from the batsman.

Jadeja delivers the ball to Buttler, it pitches, turning away from the batsman, squaring him up completely as if he read it wrong. Before this moment, spinners had taken six wickets in 11 and virtually a half innings at the Wankhede in IPL 2021. They were going nine runs per over. But, with the dry ball, as Dhoni predicted the ball turned away from Buttler, so did the tide towards Chennai Super Kings.

Before the ball was changed, spinners’ stats at the Wankhede in IPL 2021:

Overs – 48.4, Runs – 439, Wickets – 4, Avg -109.75, Economy – 9.02

After the ball was changed, CSK spinners vs Rajasthan Royals:

Overs – 5.2, Runs -15, Wickets – 5, Avg -3, Economy – 2.81

After this, Jadeja took another wicket in the same over. Moeen Ali was introduced in the next over, he got three more wickets in the next three overs, to put the CSK in the box seat. It is said that when the pitch starts turning, MS Dhoni is a captain of his own. He is like a chess player slowly moving all the right pieces in the right box, magically taking the match away from the opposition. 

But, on April 19, 2021, it was different. It was a shot so powerful that it changed the ball and ended up costing Rajasthan the match. Had Buttler not smashed it so far and the same ball would have been used, Jadeja would have been looking to defend the runs. Instead, he tried to turn the ball away. On the pitch, the ball deviated, as if deceiving Buttler with a magical deception, planned by MS Dhoni from behind and executed by his ever-reliable spinner, Ravindra Jadeja. 

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