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Talking points - When Uthappa lost all control

Robin Uthappa finished not in control of 26 of the 47 balls he faced. Only once in the IPL's entire history has a batsman played more not-in control balls in a single innings.

Now as that table shows, T20 is a game where you can get runs without timing the ball properly but Uthappa wasn't allowed that mercy. This is a man who is threaded into the Kolkata Knight Riders psyche, the keyest of key players, and he looked totally out of place in their biggest game of the season.

Uthappa came in soon after the Poweplay, played out a maiden in the 11th over, and despite trying his hardest, just couldn't get the ball in the middle of the bat. It was painful.

The gamechanger

Hardik Pandya loves to be in the eye of the storm. He got caught in the wrong kind at the start of the year but since the IPL has begun, he's revelled in pressure situations, so much that he could well be India's designated finisher at the World Cup.

And though it is his batting that always catches the eye, his intelligence as a bowler is also fast improving.

He came on after KKR had raced to 49 in the Powerplay. He began with an offcutter that had Shubman Gill lbw and as clever as that change of pace was, he outdid himself when he dismissed Chris Lynn by bowling nice and wide outside off stump. That line completely negates a power-hitter, denying him a stable base and increasing the chances of a mis-hit.

A new spin to Chris Lynn

He's Australian. He loves pace on the ball. Take it off and he'll struggle. Sounds more like stereotyping than T20 analysis, doesn't it? Especially when he can launch legspinner Rahul Chahar back over his head and inside-out over cover for two spell-binding sixes in the same over.

Lynn hasn't really set this IPL alight. But he has done something that's made him an even more dangerous batsman. He's found a way to take down the spinners. In the 2018 season, he made only 141 runs in 160 balls against them. This time, he's hit 165 in 114. That's a strike-rate jump from 88.1 to 144.7.

The anti-climax

Andre Russell has been the player of the IPL. He was single-handedly winning games for KKR at the start of the tournament and even when the team's form slumped he didn't.

But with a spot in the playoffs on the line, he fell for a first-ball duck as Mumbai Indians targeted his weakness - bouncers that cramp him up - with one of their best bowlers - Lasith Malinga. Then the allrounder leaked six boundaries in 13 deliveries and the frustration of such a performance coming at such a time just boiled over.

With input from Gaurav Sundararaman, S Rajesh, Srinath Sripath and Karthik Iyer