IPL 2016 MI vs RPSIPL 2016 Match 1 – 5 cricket lessons from Mumbai Indians Vs Rising Pune Supergiants

Why was this match important?

It was the first match of the new franchise Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) and they were playing against the defending champions of IPL 2015 – Mumbai Indians (MI).

MS Dhoni, R Ashwin and many more players had been chosen by the RPS when had had previously played for the Chennai Super Kings team which is not a part of IPL 2016. They had to regroup and start afresh. Other leading players like Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith, Faf du Plessis and, Mitchell Marsh is also playing for a newly formed RPS squad.

Result: RISING PUNE SUPERGIANTS WON BY 9 WICKETS - MUMBAI INDIANS scored 121/8 with Run Rate: 6.05 in 20 overs and RISING PUNE SUPERGIANTS successfully chased 126/1 with Run Rate: 8.59 in 14.4 overs.

5 cricket lessons that I learnt from this match.

Lesson 1: Pitch and Toss:

The reading of pitch is very important in cricket and the toss and captain’s choice is of great impact. This match being played at Wankhede in Mumbai it was assumed to be a high scoring game as the Mumbai Indians batting options were strong and the Wankhede stadium is a smaller ground with a fast outfield.

Rohit Sharma, captain of MI won the toss and elected to bat first. Dhoni when asked, said that he would have preferred to field if he had won the toss. MI started to attack the RPS bowling and then fell for some good bowling of Ishant Sharma and Mitchell Marsh. After Rohit Sharma and Simmons wickets, the middle Pandya and Butler too tried to score on every ball instead of playing the ball at its merit. MI was 4-30 in 5overs.

The Middle came under pressure and score at mere 4 to 5 runs per over. Pollard, S Gopal and finally Rayadu got out to spinners Murugan Ashwin and Rajat Bhatia. Vinay Kumar 12(11) who was out to RP Singh and Harbhajan 45 not out in 30 balls gave India a sensible total of 121 run at the end of 20 overs.

Lesson 2: Good batting and Score Total is a team effort.

The team total is a team effort of batting by all the top order batsmen, middle order and all-rounders with some support of tail-enders if ever required. The top order of MI – Rohit Sharm 8 (8), L Simmons 7 (5), H. Pandya 9 (11) and Jos Butler 0 (2). This put pressure on the Middle order where they need to start fresh for MI.

K Pollard 1 (8), Sheryas Gopal 2 (16) played defensive so much that they scored only 3 runs in 24 balls, which creates pressure in any T20 match. Rayudu 22 (27) played safe and finally Harbhajan’s  last 2 overs batting gave MI some hope to play positively to defend this 121 runs.

Good Batting total is a team effort - The batting efforts of Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants showed this thing clearly.

Ajinkya Rahane not out 66 in 42 balls with a strike rate of 157.14 was the man of the match. Playing perfectly timed shots and hitting boundaries including 7 fours and 3 sixes.  Faf du Plessis 34 (33) with 1 four and 3 sixes played some good some bad shots, but supported Rahane in a good partnership 78 (59) and then Kevin Pietersen 21*(14) partnership of 48*(30) gave Rising Pune Supergiants their first IPL Victory.

Lesson 3: Wickets and Dot balls are the two keys for T20 bowling attacks.

The Mumbai Indians were taken aback by the fast and accurate bowling of I Sharma 4 overs 26 runs 2 wickets with 15 dots and M Marsh 4 Overs 21 runs 2 wickets with 13 dots. This shows that take wickets and bowling dot balls are the keys to a solid bowling attack of any T20 team. Ishant was hit only in his last over by Harbhajan which made the score sensible.

The Other bowlers of RPS bowled well too, all 4 other bowlers, R Bhatia, Murugan Ashwin, RP Singh and R Ashwin took 1 wicket each. What a complete bowling attack. There were 13 extra given by RPS – guess without these extras the MI score would be only 108.

There were 67 Dot Balls, that is almost 11 overs of the Innings were dot balls. And Rajat Bhatia also took a wicket maiden over in the 8th over of RPS bowling.

Lesson 4: Catches and Runouts take all of them.

The RPS took every catch they got and fielded super which helped in the dot balls putting pressure and wicket by every bowler getting the MI batsman feel the draught of runs.

The MI bowling was unable to take wickets and dots balls were only 39, MI bowlers gave 5 extras but there was NO BALL which was then hit a Free Hit Sixer by Faf du Plessis. There was a big runout chance of Rahane and Faf du Plessis of missed early by Mumbai Indian. There was caught and bowled chance dropped by Shreyas Gopal. Mumbai Indians had to take every little chance to break the partnership but it never happened. The only wicket by Harbhajan of Faf du Plessis was too late to save the match.

Lesson 5: Thinking cricket and playing cricket

The thinking and playing have to go like a 'tik-tok', 'bat-ball', PDCA (Plan Do Check Act). This is easy for me to say but not easy without practice, that makes a difference. Too much thinking while you play will not help in cricket and T20 cricket is so fast that there is not enough time to think. When you think  you think, when you play you execute to your best effort. Tik-Tok is what I call it. You might have seen this in the match.

Plan: Dhoni is a prime example of a captain who uses the PDCA model, he has a good plan when he chooses the team balance, plan what to choose when if he wins the toss, bowling, batting and fielding plan and tournament situation plan.

Do: Then he leads and lets each player do the work as per the plan. The players are given the freedom to do as they lead their own roles and Dhoni supports them in every situation. Having a plan is not enough after you choose to bat or bowl the team has to “DO” what is required to execute the plan. The RPS team Doing was better that the MI doing!

Check: The captain has to be calm and keep checking the situation, the batting players in partnerships need to keep checking the strike rate and score every over. The bowlers need to check the average runs and fielding positions every ball.

Act: The thrill of acting after each ball is played and moving the match ahead with control is was every team wants. The planned victory where the team acts on the sudden challenges is the best victory to a glorious team.

RSP played better than MI in this match and got the Victory. There are many more matches ahead and we would love to enjoy the excitement, learn cricket from the experience of the best players in T20 cricket.

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