IPL 2019 is off to a breezy start with bat dominating the ball in the opening weekend. It also saw a low-scoring affair in Chennai where spinners ruled the roost. The opening week of IPL 2019 saw three matches with CSK, Delhi Capitals, and Kolkata Knight Riders ending on the winning side.
There have been a few brilliant individual performances as well.
Cricwizz makes ‘Team of the Week’ for the three matches in the opening weekend of IPL 2019.
David Warner(SRH)/Shikhar Dhawan(DC)
David Warner had a great comeback in IPL 2019 after missing out on last season due to ball-tampering ban. He scored 53-ball 85 with 9 fours and 3 sixes against Kolkata Knight Riders in his first match for SRH after two years. He was at his brutal best, and never looked he was back in IPL after a gap of two years. Warner stitched an opening stand of 118 runs for the first wicket with Jonny Bairstow who made 39.
In this team, Warner will partner his old SRH teammate Shikhar Dhawan who now plays for Delhi Capitals and scored a valuable 36-ball 43 against Mumbai Indians. Dhawan’s knock was crucial in setting up a platform for a big total.
Rana came out to open the innings for KKR in place of Sunil Narine who was nursing a finger injury sustained while fielding. And Rana made the most of the opportunity striking a brilliant 47-ball 68 with 8 fours and 3 sixes. He blamed the break due to floodlight malfunction for his dismissal. But he had done enough to set the platform for his team to chase down any target.
Pant was just unbelievable during his devastating knock of 78* against Mumbai Indians. He came to bat at No 5 at 112/3 in the 13th over, and took the team’s score to 213/6, scoring 78 runs of the 101 runs made during his stay at the crease. His shots were breathtaking. He played the helicopter shot, one-handed six, flicks for sixes with ease. He took on World No. 1 limited-overs bowler Jasprit Bumrah to cleaners. He smacked 7 fours and 7 sixes in his 27-ball 78*.
Andre Russell, Vijay Shankar
Andre Russell is the automatic selection in this playing XI as he single-handedly guided Kolkata Knight Riders home with a match-winning 49* of 19 balls with 4 fours and 4 sixes. KKR were facing defeat, needing to chase 53 runs off the last 18 balls. Russell did not give up and took on SRH’s best bowler in Bhuvneshwar Kumar as KKR romped home easily in the end.
Shankar continues to impress and is making a strong claim for World Cup selection. He scored a valuable 24-ball 40* with two fours and 2 sixes to help SRH score 181/3. Although his knock came in a losing cause, he underlined his importance to the SRH squad.
Although Dhoni did not get a chance to bat in the CSK innings against RCB as they were chasing a meager 71 runs for a win, Dhoni impressed with his tactical acumen, bowling changes, and smart keeping and captaincy. He choked the RCB batting line-up with spin from both ends. CSK spinners took 8 wickets to fall, a record in IPL.
Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir
The two bowled well in tandem in the CSK win over RCB in the opening match in IPL 2019. Harbhajan and Imran, who are both nearing 40s, brought out all their experiences to the fore to dismiss RCB for 70. Although the pitch favoured spinners, they bowled well to make RCB batsmen commit errors and throw away their wickets looking for big hits.
Imran was especially economical conceding just 9 runs in his 4 overs and taking three wickets. But it was Harbhajan who stole the show with a man of the match award for his 3/20, dismissing star players in Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Moeen Ali.
K Rabada of Delhi Capitals and Deepak Chahar of CSK
K Rabada of Delhi Daredevils had a decent outing with the ball in the clash against Mumbai Indians. He conceded 23 runs to bag 2 wickets. He took the prize wickets of Yuvraj Singh and Ben Cutting to make sure Mumbai Indians did not make any comeback in the tall run-chase. He was difficult to score off too.
Deepak Chahar of CSK held his own on a spin-friendly track at Chennai. Although he failed to take a wicket, he complemented the CSK spinners brilliantly. He bowled his four overs, conceding just 17 runs. He bowled 12 dot balls. His bowling was instrumental in not allowing RCB to run away with a good start.
Team of the Week: David Warner (SRH), Shikhar Dhawan (DC), Nitish Rana (KKR), Rishabh Pant (DC), Andre Russell (KKR), Vijay Shankar (SRH), MS Dhoni (CSK), Harbhajan Singh (CSK), Imran Tahir (CSK), Deepak Chahar (CSK), K Rabada (DC).