The Chennai Super Kings team
The Chennai Super Kings team

IPL 2022: A breakdown of why Chennai Super Kings lost to Lucknow Super Giants

Chennai’s lack of experienced bowling options at the moment was also exposed during the match against LSG

Defending champions Chennai Super Kings lost a match where they batted first and posted a big total as they were beaten by IPL’s new boys Lucknow Super Giants in a high-scoring affair on Thursday. Injury to key players, dew factor and pressure enabled the Lucknow outfit to chase down a 200-plus target and win the game comfortably by six wickets as Chennai slumped to their second straight defeat.When 34 runs were required from the last two overs, Chennai had a realistic chance of securing a win, only to see Evin Lewis and Ayush Badoni take the game away from them.

In the process, Chennai’s lack of experienced bowling options at the moment was also exposed. Shivam Dube, who bowled the 19th over, cut a sorry figure as he conceded 25 runs with Evin Lewis hitting him for two consecutive fours and a six.

In the final over, which was entrusted to Mukesh Choudhary, Badoni held his nerve and helped his team cross the line without much fuss. Dew played a key factor that saw CSK spinners Moeen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja unable to complete their quota of overs. With Dwayne Bravo having completed his four overs, CSK was left with limited options. “If you’d looked earlier on, spinning options were taken out of play. Because it was like Niagara Falls in terms of the wetness and they (LSG) played well. So it was very hard to: one, grip the ball for a spinner and, two, to be effective. So early on, we were one over short but they played well,’’ said CSK head coach Stephen Fleming after his team’s loss.

“We always knew we had to pick up an over somewhere — we were hoping to be able to create enough of a run-rate towards the end that we could squeeze someone in. Whether that was another spinner, the decision was made in the middle to use Shivam Dube, and they countered it well. So we always knew that one over was going to be pivotal and I think they did too, but they (LSG) played it very well,” he added. Fleming saw a slice of positivity and had a word of praise for youngsters Tushar Deshpande and Mukesh Choudhary, their two new-ball bowlers.

“We’ve got some young guys, Mukesh was playing for the first time, Deshpande has played a little bit before. But I thought it was really honest. It’s really tough out there — you can’t appreciate how wet that ball is and the outfield is. So it’s difficult to get any aggressive play, I think we were bowling defensively from about 10 overs onwards. I thought they hung in really well, started really well in tough conditions,” added the former New Zealand captain.

He believed that 210 was par for the course but added that fielding second was pretty tough with the conditions heavily favouring the batters while insisting that the game was an eye-opener.  “We thought it was about par, and that’s the nature of the conditions at the moment. They very much favoured the team batting second. We did well to get to 210, but we were always realistic that it was going to get harder as the night went on. So we worked very hard to stay in the game, to be honest. Defensively, I thought we were great. After about 10 overs, we just knuckled down and I thought we were fantastic to stay in the game. But it’s pretty hard fielding second at the moment,” he observed.

Chennai will be eagerly looking forward to the return of three of their main stock bowlers who are recovering from injuries. Death bowling requires experience and the ones on the injured list have loads of it. “Adam Milne has had some treatment, he’s hopefully not too far away (from being fit). Chris Jordan, also, hopefully not too far away, and of course Deepak Chahar. So we are a bit of resource down with our fast bowling, but at some stage, all teams will find they are a little bit skinny in some areas,” he concluded.

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