Tuesday, 10 May 2011

When the entire team stands up

Well if anyone still needs a clear definition of a team work in cricket, I wish they have to go through the game between the Chennai Superkings and Rajasthan Royals played yesterday at Jaipur. As it has happened in most of the occasions, yesterday was no different when the home team got humiliated by the visiting team. Recently it happened to the Kings XI Punjab when they fell short by 85 runs against RCB led by Chris Gayle (in terms of batting). Yesterday was a similar fate for Rajasthan when they had the same fate as that of Punjab against the RCB.

Starting from the Chennai Superkings' innings, the scorecard suggests that four out of the five batsmen who took to the crease made their presence felt when Mike Hussey, Murlai Vijay, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina contributed towards their team by scoring in almost equal amounts. One can sense equal contribution from the blades of the aforementioned batsmen with Murali Vijay topping the chart with 53 to his credit. There should have been four men of the match whose contribution as a whole was instrumental in Chennai Superking's victory. But, as an injustice, only Murali Vijay was awarded the man of the match.

If Murali Vijay was the top scorer of the game, then in terms of strike rate he falls to the fourth position. Murali Vijay's strike rate of 132.5 is exceeded by Mike Hussey (strike rate of 153.33), Raina (SR of 159.25) and Dhoni (215.28). However, one thing that needs to be appreciated is the way the Chennai Superkings played as a team. One cannot understand the reason behind the Rajasthan captain Shane Warne opting for Shane Watson who gave away runs at 11.75 runs an over when Ashok Menaria got to bowl just 2 overs which was equal to the run rate conceded by Warne.

Coming back to the man of the match debate, Suresh Raina was instrumental first in playing a handy 43 runs from the bat and on the other hand got two wickets off the only two deliveries he bowled. Similarly, Doug Bollinger returned with figures of 3/22 from his allotted 4 overs who stood a chance better than Murali Vijay to receive the man of the match award. However, in the Rajasthan side the problem happened to be lack of even small partnerships with them losing wickets at regular intervals. If not for Ajinkya Rahane, no other batsmen stood to the Chennai's challenge whatsoever.

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