Rajasthan Royals (RR) beat Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to give themselves a chance of making it to the playoffs. They chased down 190 against the three-time champions with 15 balls to spare and have it in their hands to make it through to the next round.
This was CSK’s first loss in the UAE leg and former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim reckons that this has been the upset of the season so far.
“This is clearly the upset of IPL this season. They have roared back into contention now. Some great stuff from the openers. In 5.2 overs Rajasthan Royals had put up 75 runs on the board. It was unbelievable,” Karim told Cricket.com on Man vs Machine.
“They were up against a strong bowling attack – they had Josh Hazlewood, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja. To score these runs in such a blistering manner is very difficult to understand. This goes to show that all the teams have the surprise element up their sleeves. It depends when they want to play their best game. Today was such a day for RR. Look at Shivam Dube. He played his first game today, he was sitting out. He carried on the momentum from the openers,” he added.
With this win, Karim reckons RR have set the template for other teams to replicate in order to topple Chennai.
“RR will fancy themselves and look to get back into the tournament. They need to win the last two games. They will also be dependent on the results of some other matches. Having said that, this is also a great cue for some other teams, who have faltered against CSK. This is the kind of success mantra the other teams would like to follow against CSK,” Karim said.
“I can understand this is a great batting track but it just gives a different kind of insight as to how to make inroads into this strong CSK line-up. RR have not just done themselves a favour, but also a big favour to the other teams who have to play the matches against CSK,” Karim, a former selector, added.
CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad justified the faith in him and slammed his maiden IPL ton, but it eventually went in vain. Karim believes Gaikwad what it takes to shine not just for CSK but also for the Indian side.
“It’s the consistency and his batting performances have been remarkable. What sets him apart is the way he plays in the powerplay and as soon as the field his spread he maneuvers the field very well, he toys with the fielding positions and he is very clear in his mind when he steps out against the spinners. He is one of the few cricketers who are able to pick the leg-spinners well and has excellent footwork against them. That’s why he believes in his timing, he is able to clear the infield and plays those big shots against the spinners,” Karim, a veteran of one Test and 34 ODIs said.
“So, overall, it has been such an authoritative IPL for Gaikwad. Whatever we saw last season, he has just continued in that form. He is up for some great highs now – not just for CSK but very soon for the national team,” he added.