CSK vs PBKS: Pooran’s misery; KL tempts fate against Jadeja; Shami gets an earful & Swann’s worst nightmare


Chennai Super Kings beat Punjab Kings by 6 wickets to register their first win of IPL 2021.

Pooran just can’t pull it off


Poor Nicholas Pooran. Two innings, two pull shots and two ducks. A few days ago, he went mistiming a slower short-one down leg side but Chetan Sakaria turned Clark Kent’s alter-ego at short fine leg. This time around, Shardul Thakur didn’t have to move an inch at long leg. Pooran must have seen Deepak Chahar conjuring crazy outswingers and perhaps didn’t expect a sharp pacy bouncer.

Eyes shut, head yanked off line, he waved his bat up like a face shield. The camera panned to the dug out where coach Anil Kumble sat shell-shocked. Chahar jogged towards the catcher, all nonchalant and cool, before he did a neat little fist-pump to celebrate his shock-and-awe choice of a weapon.

– Sriram Veera


Not quite Captain Cool


Maybe it was captaincy pangs, or that he was still hungover by a shoddy performance with the bat, Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul was an unusually angry man. Normally a calm and composed presence behind the stumps, even in the face of adversity, Rahul lost his temper on more than one occasion.

Poor Mohammad Shami was often at the receiving end, not because he bowled listlessly but he did not appeal spiritedly after rapping batsmen on the pads. It happened twice in his first over, but Shami, realising that the ball was easily sailing over the stumps, did not bother to appeal. It angered Rahul, who implored Shami to appeal, and once even asked him if he wants to review.

READ | Chahar’s best IPL spell wrecks Punjab Kings, Dhoni turns down his DRS pleas

When the ball missed the edge, he would get desperately excited even if the bowler was utterly disinterested. Those who misfielded or failed to judge a catch got an earful. One of those days when his eyes were best avoided. He couldn’t be blamed; his team was defending a meagre 106 runs.

– Sandip G


Rahul forgets Jadeja’s on the prowl


By now, batsmen should know better than to risk their wicket with Ravindra Jadeja anywhere near the ball in the field. Even before he comes on to bowl or bat, he ensures credit points on the balance sheet.

KL Rahul has been Jadeja’s teammate in the Indian line-up, but still attempted a risky venture in the third over. With Punjab Kings already one down and more significantly, 41-year-old Chris Gayle at the other end, the move didn’t have much going for it. Add to it the identity of the fielder at short cover and it could well qualify as a brain fade.

As Rahul called the reluctant Gayle for a run, Jadeja pounced on the ball and scored a direct hit at the striker’s end. The Punjab Kings skipper compounded his error in judgment by not putting his body on the line, as the dive never came.

It wasn’t a one-off show from Jadeja in the field either. Soon, he was diving full-length to his right to grab a low chance offered by Gayle, and in the 20th over took a not-as-easy-as-it-looks skier to end Shahrukh Khan’s resistance.

Four overs for 19 runs with the ball also proved once again why Jadeja is any captain’s delight.

– Tushar Bhaduri


Swann up-clothes


“I have to walk into bat and I am completely naked,” thus spoke Graeme Swann on air in the dug-out apropos nothing of what was unfolding in front of them. Luckily, he had prefaced it by saying, “Do you know my worst cricket nightmare?”

Dominic Cork, the co-commentator, turned away his head in mock disgust. Swann, fully clothed in the studio, tugged at him and persisted, “Do you know who was the England captain shouting and screaming at me? (Even as he was frantically trying to find his clothes).”

Corks offered, “Mike Atherton? ” Swann said “No, no, Nasser Hussain”. Cork came back with this gem: “Why would you even want to tell this to anyone?!”

– Sriram Veera

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