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IPL 2020: CSK vs KXIP Game Plan 1 – Can the Super Kings Evade the Shami Threat?

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CSK vs KXIP – The fifty-third match of the IPL 2020 tournament between the blockbuster teams, Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab, could all be about match-ups and Mohammed Shami could be a key figure. We take a look at a key game plan that could play a role in the fifty-third game of IPL 2020 – CSK vs KXIP.

NOTE: Stats for this article are as of 31/10/2020 (Match 50: KXIP vs RR)

CSK vs KXIP Game Plan – The Shami threat

Kings XI Punjab are in a do-or-die situation heading into today’s encounter. With a lot of the attention on their batting lineup of Rahul, Agarwal (or Mandeep), Gayle and Pooran; Mohammed Shami has gone under the radar. He’s sitting pretty on the Purple Cap list with 20 wickets in 13 matches. He has been the strike-bowler for Punjab since 2019, picking up 39 wickets which is more than the next two combined.

Shami has led the wicket-taking charts for KXIP since 2019

CSK vs KXIP – Mohammed Shami in the Powerplay

Shami has the joint-third most wickets in the Powerplay this season, and the most for KXIP. One reason why he has been so successful in the Powerplay is because of his immaculate lengths.

Mohammed Shami has bowled 29 overs in the first six and of those overs, 71 balls have been short length balls. There’s something in Shami’s bouncer that makes it tough for batsmen to negotiate. According to CricXtasy data, batsmen play a false shot to 38% of his short-length deliveries, indicating that he has been able to get assistance off the pitch when he hits it hard.

Shami has also used the short ball often in the Powerplay. Among bowlers with at least 4 wickets with the new ball, only Jofra Archer and Khaleel Ahmed use the bouncer within the Powerplay more than him.

Anticipating the short ball, batsmen adjust onto the back foot to be prepared for it again, only for the wily Shami to pitch it on a good length and reap the rewards. The Bengal speedster has picked up 4 of his 7 Powerplay wickets off a good length, a majority of the time nicking off to the keeper.

CSK vs KXIP – Mohammed Shami at the Death

Shami in the final five overs doesn’t have the best numbers, although he has been in the wickets column. However this season has been a tale of two halves for KXIP and in their last 6 matches (of which they have won 5), Shami’s improved returns in the death have definitely helped in favourable results for his team.

In the first 7 matches, he bowled 6.4 overs in the last five and conceded over 14 runs an over, with a dot% of just 20 and drawing 15% false shots from batsmen.

In the last six matches, he has been much better. His economy of 10.4, has been just below the tournament average. The other metrics have seen a surge as well: he now draws 27% false strokes and 31% of his deliveries are dot balls.

Shami has been much better in the death overs in the recent matches

Having a clearer mindset has helped him execute in the death overs. KXIP skipper KL Rahul after the thrilling double super over match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab had said: “Shami was certain he wanted to go for six yorkers and he has been phenomenal for us. It is important senior guys put their hands up for us.”

Mohammed Shami will have to play a key role once again today, both with the new ball as well as the old ball, if the Kings XI Punjab are to stand any chance of qualifying for the playoffs.

ALSO READ: From the archives of the other clash between these teams in the season – A powerplay threat for CSK