IPL 2019: Rohit Sharma on Mumbai's win over CSK - Dhoni's absence was a massive boost

Sudhir Gupta 26/04/2019
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Rayudu kept wickets for CSK in Dhoni's absence. Image - IPL/Twitter.

Having registered his maiden half-century of the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign in Mumbai Indians’ 46-run win over Chennai Super Kings, skipper Rohit Sharma has revealed that he was never under worried about his form.

The India opening batsman had endured an indifferent campaign prior to Friday’s clash against Chennai with no half-century to show for in 10 matches.

That drought finally came to an end on a spinning Chepauk pitch with Rohit’s 48-ball 67 helping the visitors post a challenging 155-4 after batting first. It was the first IPL fifty in over a year for the right-hander and it helped his side take another big step towards securing a play-off berth.

“Satisfying innings, mine,” Rohit said after collecting the man-of-the-match award.

“I was getting 30s and 40s but not getting half-centuries. At no point was I worried about my form because I was hitting the ball well.

“I knew the day will come, and I guess today was the day.”

Chennai, on the other hand, had to make do without the services of MS Dhoni who missed the clash due to a fever. Led by stand-in skipper Suresh Raina, the hosts fell to their first home defeat in six attempts in the 2019 campaign while also being bowled out for their lowest ever IPL total (109) at the Chepauk stadium.

“It was a massive boost that MSD wasn’t around because his presence does a lot for their team,” Rohit stated on the veteran’s absence.

“When you don’t have Dhoni when they’re chasing the score, then it becomes difficult for them. I’m sure their presence was missed by CSK. But he was sick, it’s not in his control either. But as I said, coming here and winning here isn’t supposed to be easy,” he added.

The win helped Mumbai to climb to second spot in the IPL table with 14 points from 11 games and they are now just two points behind league leaders CSK whose play-off qualification remains on hold.

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IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians hand CSK first home defeat as skipper Rohit finally comes to the party

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A captain's knock from Rohit Sharma. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

Chennai Super Kings perfect home record in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign came to an end as Mumbai Indians emerged victors by 46 runs at the Chepauk Stadium on Friday.

With MS Dhoni missing the clash with a fever, it was Suresh Raina who led the defending champions but the stand-in skipper could do nothing as CSK were bowled out for their lowest ever IPL total on their home ground.

Skipper Rohit Sharma’s maiden IPL 2019 half-century helped the visitors post a challenging 155-4 after batting first. It proved to be a winning total by some distance as Chennai were bundled out for just 109 runs. Lasith Malinga was the pick of the bowlers for Mumbai, picking up 4-37,

With the win, Mumbai moved to second spot in the table with 14 points from 12 games. Leaders Chennai remain at the top but their play-off qualification confirmation will have to wait another match at least.

CAPTAIN ROHIT FINALLY FIRES

It had been an indifferent IPL campaign leading up to the clash for Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma who had failed to register a single half-century despite returning to his favoured opening slot.

On Friday, the right-hander looked in imperious touch as he gave the visitors a formidable start. Despite Quinton de Kock falling early, Rohit kept Mumbai on the front foot with a 75-run stand for the second wicket along with Evin Lewis.

Announcing his intentions with two sixes off Harbhajan in the same over, Rohit brought up his maiden IPL 2019 half-century off 37 balls. On a pitch where spinners were finding plenty of joy, the Mumbai skipper looked in control and was looking good for more before his innings was brought to an end by the excellent Mitchell Santner.

SANTNER HAS A FIELD DAY

The Chepauk Stadium had been a spinner’s paradise throughout this IPL and it was no surprise to see the slower bowlers thrive once again on Friday.

However, while it had been veteran Imran Tahir and Harbhajan Singh who had done the bulk of the damage previously for CSK, it was the turn of Mitchell Santner to come to the fore against Mumbai.

The New Zealand left-arm spinner extracted prodigious turn from the surface to tie the batsmen in knots with run-scoring against him proving almost impossible.

With Rohit and Lewis threatening to take the game away from Chennai, Santner struck at just the right time to remove both the batsmen in quick succession. With the ball gripping and spinning substantially, the Kiwi provide to be a tough nut to crack with just one boundary and 13 runs in total coming off his four overs.

A fine display from Santner. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

A fine display from Santner. Image – @IPL/Twitter.

MUMBAI LEFT-ARM SPINNERS TURNS TABLE ON DHONI-LESS CSK

Taking cue form Santner’s excellent display, it was the turn of Mumbai’s left-arm spinners to flourish in the second innings with Krunal Pandya being the architect-in-chief of CSK’s downfall.

Chennai’s chase started off on the wrong note with Shane Watson and Suresh Raina falling cheaply to Malinga and Hardik Pandya respectively. It only got worse for the hosts once the spinners came on with Krunal on the money. The left-arm spinner outfoxed Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav to break Chennai’s back before fellow left-armer Anukul Roy provided the icing on the cake.

The former India U17 World Cup winning left-arm spinner picked up the wicket of Dhruv Shorey on his IPL debut to leave Mumbai reeling at 66-6. That left CSK with a mountain to climb and with world-class bowlers like Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah bowling at the death, there was simply no way back.

The failed chase showed the value of MS Dhoni to the defending champions with the veteran’s calm head in the middle-order being sorely missed.

BRIEF SCORES

Mumbai Indians: 155-4

Rohit Sharma: 67 (48)

Mitchell Santner: 2-13

Chennai Super Kings: 109 all out

Lasith Malinga: 4-37

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IPL 2019 Fantasy: Sanju Samson and David Warner among top picks for Rajasthan vs SRH

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Rajasthan's Sanju Samson. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

The 2019 Indian Premier League season heads into match 45 with the Rajasthan Royals set to host Sunrisers Hyderabad in Saturday’s sole fixture.

As fans, watching the action is not the only thing to look forward to – IPL fantasy games mean you have the opportunity to get involved as well.

As the IPL’s official partner, Dream11 runs a daily contest for each game apart from the default format which is conducted per round.

Here, we focus on helping you navigate your way through the former.

BATSMAN

David Warner – Sunrisers Hyderabad (11.5 credits)

It would be foolish to look past the leading run-scorer in the 2019 IPL campaign with David Warner in scorching form following his return after a one-year absence.

The Australia opener has left the rest of the batsmen in the competition in his wake by racking up 574 runs at a sensational average of 71.75 while maintaining a strike-rate of over 146.

Only twice in his 10 innings so far has Warner failed to breach the 50-run barrier and he comes into the clash on the back of five successive fifties under his belt.

His IPL stint will be coming to an end soon as well and as such, the southpaw will be determined to swell that run-tally before he enters World Cup mode.

BOWLER

Shreyas Gopal – Rajasthan Royals (9 credits)

While Sunrisers have No1 ranked T20 bowler Rashid Khan at their disposal, it is the Rajasthan leg-spinner who gets our nod due to his better numbers so far in the 2019 campaign.

The 25-year-old has been a revelation this season and has been the only Rajasthan bowler apart from Jofra Archer who has been able to hold his own. Gopal has picked up three more wickets (13) than Rashid this year although he has been slightly more expensive than his SRH counterpart.

With the benefit of playing on his home track, the leggie is primed to outshine the Afghan star once again and could bamboozle a few SRH batsmen with his lethal googlies.

ALL-ROUNDER

Shakib Al Hasan – Sunrisers Hyderabad (8.5 credits)

Opportunities have been few and far in between for Bangladesh star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan in the 2019 edition but there is only so long until the cream eventually rises to the top.

Shakib has not featured at all in the Hyderabad playing XI since their campaign opener against KKR until their most recent clash, but the departure of England’s Jonny Bairstow has given a new lease of life to his prospects.

The left-hander made his 2019 bow in SRH’s most recent outing against CSK where he was highly economical (0-27) with the ball despite failing to bag a wicket.

The Bangladesh man can always be relied to contribute in all three departments and Saturday’s clash might just be his chance to make a big impact.

Shakib is a reliable performer. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Shakib is a reliable performer. Image – BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

WICKETKEEPER

Sanju Samson – Rajasthan Royals (9 credits)

With Bairstow’s maiden IPL stint having come to an end, Rajasthan’s Sanju Samson is a straightforward pick for the wicketkeeper’s slot.

The Kerala-born man has been guilty of throwing away several promising starts this year but when on song, it is hard for bowlers to contain him as his superb ton against the same opponent in the reverse fixture showed.

The right-hander struck 10 boundaries and four sixes in his unbeaten innings of 102 and was unfortunate to still end up on the losing side. Samson’s talent with the bat has never been in doubt ever since he broke out as a youngster at the same franchise and he will be determined to put together one big innings to make up for previous disappointments.

CAPTAIN – David Warner

VICE-CAPTAIN – Sanju Samson

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