Chennai picked up a much-needed morale-boosting win against Bangalore in Dubai on Sunday. MS Dhoni’s boys took control of the match in the first innings by restricting Bangalore to 145 for 6. Sam Curran was the star with the ball for them, finishing with figures of 3 for 19. The three-time champions then went on to chase the target successfully with eight balls and eight wickets to spare.
Here’s a quick glance at some of the talking points that emerged from the contest.
Bangalore’s Aaron Finch conundrum
How do you solve a problem like Aaron Finch? The Australian opener on his day is capable of destroying the best bowling line-ups in the world but has failed to live up to expectations with Bangalore. His 15 against Chennai was his latest failure in a long list of disappointments this season. He has managed to go beyond 30 in just two of his 11 innings so far.
Finch has scored 236 runs at an average of 21.45 and a strike rate of 111.84, which shows that he hasn’t been at his best this year by his own lofty standards. The two innings that he did manage to cross 30 were against Mumbai and Kolkata when he scored 52 and 47 respectively. Finch needs to come good in Bangalore’s remaining games or else they must replace him at the top if Virat Kohli’s boys want to go all the way.
Sam Curran is Chennai’s biggest positive this season
In a campaign that has been full of lows and disappointments, English all-rounder Sam Curran has been Chennai's brightest spark this year. After his lone fight with the bat in Chennai’s last match, when he scored 52 against Mumbai as the rest of the batsmen around him collapsed, Curran showed his capability with the ball against Bangalore.
He finished with figures of 3 for 19 against Bangalore – his best this season – and wasn’t required to bat thanks to Chennai’s solid chase. Besides taking 13 wickets for Chennai, he’s also scored 173 runs in a struggling side and has been the one consistent performer for the three-time champions over the course of the campaign.
Over reliance on Ab de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli
Kohli, Devdutt Padikkal and Ab de Villiers are Bangalore’s top three scorers this season and were once again among the runs against Chennai with scores of 50, 22 and 39 respectively. However, what will worry Bangalore is the inability of the rest of their batsmen to score runs consistently. If the aforementioned trio fail with the bat, Bangalore more often than not are likely to lose.
The likes of Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar and Gurkeerat Singh have all shown flashes of what they can offer without managing to play any knocks of substance. While Kohli, Padikkal and de Villiers have all delivered consistently so far, depending on them entirely to get the runs is a risky strategy on Bangalore’s part, making it integral that the rest of the batsmen from the team step up soon.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter.com / Chennai