<
>

Talking Points: Why no Sandeep Lamichhane?

play
Why Lamichhane would have been a threat in Delhi (3:16)

Brad Hodge and Deep Dasgupta discuss the exclusion of Sandeep Lamichhane and the impact he would have had on Tuesday (3:16)

Why no Sandeep Lamichhane?

The Nepal legspinner was brought in late last IPL and went at just 6.83 an over in the three games he played, also taking five wickets. Since then he has been excellent in various T20 leagues, averaging 19.64 and going at 6.88 in 32 games. So it was expected that he would play a pivotal role for Delhi Capitals this season, but two games in, he's yet to get a look in. What's more, against Chennai Super Kings, Capitals did not even use the fourth overseas player slot, which Lamichhane could have filled. Rahul Tewatia made the XI, presumably to add a bit of lower-order batting muscle, while Amit Mishra was, perhaps, included because he has a good record against Shane Watson - he had dismissed Watson four times in ten T20 innings before this match. Mishra did get Watson again, but went at 8.75 an over on a spin-friendly pitch.

Raina's faux shortcoming

There is a perception among teams that Suresh Raina has a weakness against the short ball, but his record in the past three years suggests he has found a way to score off them. Since the beginning of IPL 2016, Raina has scored at a strike rate of 188.17 against short deliveries from pacers and at 134.83 off short-of-a-good-length deliveries. Of the nine balls Ishant Sharma and Kagiso Rabada bowled to Raina at the Kotla, eight were either short or short of a length, suggesting a plan, and Raina scored 22 runs off them, with four boundaries. Teams may need to reconsider their plans to Raina as the season progresses.

CSK attack the new ball

On a slow pitch, it was vital to score quickly off the new ball, and Super Kings managed 58 runs off the Powerplay compared to Delhi's 43. According to ESPNcricinfo's Forecaster, Super Kings had taken their chances of winning the match to 89% at that stage itself.

Watson went hard from the start, but may have been helped by Delhi's decision to bowl five overs of pace in the first six, three overs of Ishant and two of Rabada. Delhi are more reluctant than most sides to bowl spin early - since the beginning of IPL 2017, just 17.78% of their Powerplay overs have been bowled by spinners - and Mishra, in particular, doesn't usually bowl in that phase, he's bowled just two Powerplay overs in the past two years. Another reason Delhi may have bowled so much pace up front was to ensure Ishant did not have to bowl in the death, as his economy rate in the final four overs of IPL games is 11.29. But the ball coming on favoured Super Kings, as they managed to bring the required rate down early, allowing the middle order to play risk-free cricket against the spinners.