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From Pant’s non-DRS to Samson’s bizarre Mitchell punt: biggest tactical goof-ups from IPL 2022

Last updated on 28 May 2022 | 03:29 PM
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From Pant’s non-DRS to Samson’s bizarre Mitchell punt: biggest tactical goof-ups from IPL 2022

We look at the major tactical blunders from this season that ended up proving costly

Match 4, Lucknow Super Giants vs Gujarat Titans

KL Rahul errs by deploying one too many overs of spin at the death

The Wankhede was host to the battle of the two new franchises, and with five overs left in the contest, it was LSG who were in the driver’s seat. Gujarat needed 68 off the final 5 overs, and that seemed a very tough ask with Lucknow still having 4 overs of Avesh Khan and Dushmantha Chameera up their sleeve.

But tempted by Deepak Hooda’s tight first two overs (2-0-9-1), skipper KL Rahul decided to give the part-timer a third. The move backfired as the Titans ended up taking 22 off Hooda’s third over to storm back into the chase. 

But it didn’t end there. Despite Hooda getting mauled, Rahul decided to bowl one more over of spin at the death, throwing the ball to Bishnoi. The Titans gleefully accepted the invitation and mauled the leggie for 17 runs to go ahead in the chase. 

Those two overs ended up proving decisive as Gujarat got over the line with two overs to spare. As it turned out, Dushmantha Chameera ended the night without bowling his full quota of overs despite registering figures of 2/22 across his first 3 overs. 

Match 13, Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Sanju Samson fails to use the Chahal trump card vs DK

Having posted 169 batting first, Dinesh Karthik was all that stood between RR and victory. RCB needed 82 off the last 7 overs, and DK was the last recognized batter left. 

DK walked in to bat as early as the 13th over, and it seemed like the perfect time for Rajasthan to introduce leg-spin, with them still having one over of Yuzvendra Chahal up their sleeve. Prior to the game, the wicket-keeper batter had averaged a shocking 5.7 versus leg-spin since the start of 2020. The match-up wrote itself, and the game was there for the taking.

Quite inexplicably, though, Samson did not throw the ball to Chahal until after DK had faced 15 balls. By the time he did throw the ball to his talisman, it proved too late, for Karthik had already raced off to 33 off 15 and had brought the equation down to 32 off 24 balls. 

RCB ended up playing out Chahal’s final over, taking just 4 off it, and got home with 5 balls to spare.

Match 20, Rajasthan Royals vs Lucknow Super Giants 

LSG mess up Stoinis’ batting position and leave him with too much to do

Chasing a 166 on a Wankhede wicket where the ball was doing a lot under the lights, Lucknow opted to use not one, but two ‘pinch-anchors’. Krishnappa Gowtham and Jason Holder batted at No.3 and No.4 respectively, but the tactic bombed, with the pair combinedly scoring 8 off 15 balls between them.

It didn’t necessarily cost them the game, but what did was Lucknow bizarrely holding Marcus Stoinis back. The Australian was sent in to bat at No.8, and the Required Run Rate was 15.60 by the time he walked in. The match situation gave Stoinis no time to settle, and demanded him to go bang bang from the get go.

Even then, Stoinis nearly won the game for Lucknow. They ended up falling short by just 3 runs. 

The Super Giants could very well have ended up on the winning side had they sent Stoinis in a tad earlier, and given the all-rounder more time to impact the chase. 

Match 30, Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders 

KKR batters lose their head vs Chahal

Not often teams find themselves in pole position while chasing 218, but needing just 40 to win off 4 overs, with a set batter at the crease, KKR were firmly in the driver’s seat against Rajasthan. The Knight Riders had the two Iyers out in the middle - with Shreyas batting 85* - and all they needed to do was keep their composure. 

Spoilers: they didn’t.

Instead of seeing RR’s trump card Yuzvendra Chahal out, the Knight Riders batters decided to go after the leggie, who was the Royals’ only credible wicket-taking threat at that point. It is one thing showing intent, but the KKR batsmen lost their heads. 

Venkatesh Iyer got himself out stumped in the first ball of the over, and, two balls later, skipper Shreyas missed a wild hack across the line and got himself trapped in front. Shivam Mavi, the very next ball post Iyer’s dismissal, got caught at the deep trying to clear the fence, and Mavi’s dismissal enabled Chahal to dismiss Cummins, who would have matched up really well against the RR seamers. 

To go after Chahal, and not simply play him out, was a tactical disaster. 

Match 34, Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Capitals

Delhi err by sending Rovman Powell in at No.8

Lucknow were not the only side that misused their power-hitters. For a good part of their campaign, Delhi Capitals did everything they could to not get the best out of Rovman Powell.

DC, in the initial few matches, batted Powell a tad too low, but they outdid themselves in the clash against RR at the Wankhede, sending the West Indian at No.8, below both Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur.

223 was what Delhi were chasing, but by the time Powell walked in, the game was nearly out of their reach: they needed 61 off the final 4. 

Powell did everything he could to get the team over the line, and eventually finished with 36 off 15, but ultimately it did not prove enough. 

In a game where Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur combinedly scored 11 off 11, Delhi regretted sending in a through and through match-winner like Powell at No.8.

Match 44, Rajasthan Royals vs Mumbai Indians

Sanju Samson’s bizarre Daryl Mitchell punt

Defending 159, the Royals had Mumbai Indians in a spot of bother at the end of the powerplay, with the five-time champs struggling at 41/2. Mumbai, on the fourth ball of the sixth over, lost Ishan Kishan, and Rajasthan had the opportunity to strangle the MI batters immediately after the field restrictions. 

For reasons only he knows, however, Samson inexplicably threw the ball to his sixth bowler, Daryl Mitchell. Both Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma were new to the crease, but they needed no second invitation to massacre the part-timer. Mitchell’s over traveled for 20, and the six balls bowled by the New Zealander ended up tilting the balance of the contest. 

Eventually, Mumbai got over the line to register their first win of IPL 2022.

Match 69, Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians

Rishabh Pant commits the cardinal DRS sin

In the do-or-die clash against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede, Tim David was what stood between Delhi Capitals and a playoff spot. David walked in when MI needed 65 off 33, and the first ball the Australian faced seemed to brush the outside edge of his bat.

Pant went up instantly, but the on-field umpire remained unmoved. Delhi still had two reviews left, and given what was at stake, Pant would have been fully justified even burning a review. In fact, he had to take a review, for that’s how valuable David’s wicket was.

But after contemplating and contemplating and contemplating, the DC skipper decided against reviewing. 

Of course, what unfolded next was inevitable. Ultra Edge showed a clear spike off David’s bat, and DC were left to rue the non-review as the right-hander smashed 34(11) to knock the Capitals out of IPL 2022. 

Eliminator: Lucknow Super Giants vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 

LSG mess-up their batting order. Again.

Heading into the playoffs, there were fears that LSG’s Guardiola-esque 100 IQ moves might result in the side’s undoing. Those fears came true in the Eliminator as the Super Giants successfully managed to mess up their batting order, again. For the nth time in the season, Rahul’s side failed to maximize its batting resources.

The Super Giants had at their disposal Evin Lewis, but flabbergastingly deployed the West Indian at No.6. LSG had the opportunity to bat Lewis at No.3 and utilize his strengths, especially with Quinton de Kock falling early, but the side instead opted to promote Manan Vohra, who prior to the Eliminator had not faced a single ball all tournament. Vohra did not fare badly, but the cascading effect meant that Lewis was a mere passenger in the contest.

The West Indian walked in with 15 balls left in the chase, at which point LSG needed 34. The southpaw was up against a rampant Harshal Patel, and in that stage of the game, there was always going to be only one winner. 

Selection blunders / questionable selection calls made by franchises

* After shelling INR 8.25 crore at the auction for Tim David, Mumbai Indians bizarrely dropped the 26-year-old just two games into the season, after a pair of failures. Mumbai reintegrated David into the team only after they were out of contention to make the playoffs, and the hard-hitting right-hander, in the second half of the season, showed why it was a mistake to axe him in the first place — across MI’s last 6 games, David struck 173 runs at an average of 57.67 and a SR of 230.7.

* Bhanuka Rajapaksa began IPL 2022 in explosive fashion for the Punjab Kings, with scores of 43 (22) and 31 (9), but the southpaw was dropped following the third game (in which he was run out) to accommodate Jonny Bairstow. Punjab could have accommodated Bairstow by dropping the misfiring Odean Smith, but the franchise instead opted to leave Rajapaksa out. And that proved to be a blunder as a horror run of form for Bairstow ended up hurting the side. The Kings recalled Rajapaksa later on, but they failed to make the most out of the Sri Lankan’s purple patch. 

* After opting to retain Abdul Samad, Sunrisers Hyderabad fielded the 20-year-old in just two games in the entire season. Samad, across the two matches, faced just 7 balls, and batted at No.6 and No.7. 

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