Ben Stokes' odds-defying unbeaten century for Rajasthan Royals in their win against Mumbai Indians eliminated Chennai Super Kings from IPL 2020. For the first time in the history of IPL, CSK won't be part of the playoffs.
The Chennai franchise, also called Dad's Army at times, finally paid the price for their strategy of investing in experienced players instead of opting to maintain a balance between young and established stars. Captain MS Dhoni's role has especially come under scrutiny due to his squad preferences and failure to lead the team by example as he struggled with the bat.
While CSK may be out of IPL, other bottom-ranked teams are fighting tooth and nail to stay alive in the tournament. This past week saw top teams MI, Delhi Capitals, and Royal Challengers all losing to teams from outside the playoffs spot. The race for playoffs is heating up as we enter the business end of IPL with all four slots still up for the grabs.
One team which is back in contention for the playoffs after being almost at the brink of elimination is Kings XI Punjab. With four consecutive wins over MI, RCB, DC, and Sunrisers Hyderabad, KXIP are doing what was thought to be impossible a few days back. They have somehow found answers to really tough questions in the last four matches but they still have some flaws that need to be ironed out.
One of them is the lack of contribution from middle-order batsman Glenn Maxwell. A veteran of 80 IPL matches, the Australian has only managed over 300 runs in two seasons. He has struggled like never before this season with only 102 runs coming from his bat at an abysmal strike rate of 102. He has not hit a single six this season.
In the fifth episode of IPL on Pod, Firstpost's Jigar Mehta, Shantanu Srivastava, and Ujwal Singh discuss CSK failing to qualify for playoffs for the first time in the history of the tournament, DC losing two consecutive matches for the first time in this edition, Glenn Maxwell's IPL future, and more.
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KL Rahul has now pipped specialist wicketkeepers Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson as the no.1 glovesman in the limited overs format.
Shami had his best IPL season as his 20 wickets for Kings XI Punjab, including a spectacular defence of five runs in double Super Over game against Mumbai Indians, was one of the highlights of the tournament.
Cummins has been named in both the white and red-ball squads as vice-captain. The limited-overs series is to be held in Sydney and Canberra ahead of the four-match Test series, beginning in Adelaide on 17 December.