CSK vs RCB - when should Jadeja enter

IPL 2021: CSK vs RCB Game Plan 1 – The Battle of Phases


CSK vs RCB – The 19th match of the IPL 2021 tournament will see table toppers Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Chennai Super Kings. Here, we take a look at some game plans that could play a role in determining the outcome of the contest.

A team tagged as the perennial losers have started to make things turn massively in their favor this season. They are on a roll beating every team they have faced and look unstoppable.

On the other hand, their opponents for the next game, CSK are also coming off a three-game winning streak. If there was one side that has all the resources to stop RCB, it has to be CSK. Let’s go through the journey of both sides in parts and see which teams should target which phases to emerge victorious.

The Super Kings are known for backing their core group of players. Zero surprises if Dhoni turns up at the toss and says “We are playing with the same team”. So our game plan will revolve around the players who played the previous game. RCB look to have retained their core group of players and look to make odd changes to their side depending on the conditions and the match-ups involved.

We will talk about two important phases of the game, the powerplay, and the death, and look at the probable matchups and changes in strategy the two teams can incorporate. Both teams have done more or less similar in both the batting and bowling fronts in the middle overs. Hence we will be talking more about the other two phases. We also keep in mind that it is a day game and the conditions involved.

CSK vs RCB – The Powerplay

A good start is almost half a job done. CSK openers have been in some form and Faf in particular has been taking a full toll on the fielding restrictions in the powerplay. Faf has been striking at a rate of 148 and averages 38.5 in the powerplay.

Since the last edition, the go-to shot for Faf in the powerplay has been the scoop. He has played it 8 times inside the powerplay and has scored 38 runs off it. 7 out of these 8 deliveries were of good length and the other one was a fuller length delivery. This year he has played the scoop thrice scoring 14 runs where all three were of good length.

Siraj, the lead pacer for RCB in this phase of the game has been breathing fire. Has constantly troubled the batsmen by angling the ball in and also by swinging it away from them. He has sought to bowl in the good length and has bowled 33 of them with a dot ball % of 66.67.

While Siraj’s strength has been to swing the ball, we should also take into consideration that they play a day game tomorrow and the assistance would be less with no lights. With Faf being very comfortable against pace in the powerplay and him having a strong scoop, Siraj might not be able to trouble him so much.

RCB have a great option in their hand to counter this problem. When we have a look at the top 5 CSK batsmen against right-arm off-spin since 2018, we can find that Faf has had some trouble. Among all their top 5 batsmen, Faf is the only one to score under a strike rate of 100. Gaikwad also hasn’t been great either. So RCB can look to start with Washington Sundar, whos known for his economical spells in the powerplay. RCB also have an extra off-spin option in Glenn Maxwell.


ALSO READ: RCB’s success mantra in IPL 2021 so far

CSK vs RCB – The Death

RCB have been the best death bowling side in the ongoing edition of the IPL. They have picked 18 wickets at the death which is the most by any side and they also have the best bowling average at that phase which is 7.39.

On the other hand, CSK have been the best batting side at the death so far in this IPL. Their batsmen have scored at a rate of 13.37 runs per over in the final four having lost just 8 wickets at the death in the four games they have played.

When we look at who has been the best batsman at the death for CSK since the previous edition, the obvious answer that pops up is Jadeja. Firstly, let us look at the numbers of CSK lower middle-order batsmen at the death.

The graph shows that Jadeja has been doing the finishing duties perfectly for CSK. Jadeja’s power game against pace was quite visible and his numbers have only surged up since then. Jadeja strikes at a rate of 205.94 in the final four and combines it with an average of 41.60.

CSK batsmen at the death

CSK vs RCB – When should Jadeja enter?

We have seen that Jadeja’s numbers have been phenomenal at the death. When we look at what’s the best batting position for Jadeja, there’s no fixed answer.

CSK should look to promote Jadeja up the order at the death, even if it means Jadeja is batting at 3. Jadeja when he enters post 15 overs, strikes at a rate of 224.62 and averages 48.67. This shows that he hardly needs any time to get settled and can launch straight away.

The next best option CSK have in hand is Sam Curran. Curran has a strike rate better than that of Jadeja but gets dismissed more often than Jadeja. From the entry point graph, we can see that Dhoni needs some time to settle and he shouldn’t be heading into the field ahead of Jadeja or Curran post the 15th over.


CSK batsmen when they enter post over 15

With the presence of Ab de Villiers, RCB look invincible at the death. It is nearly impossible to win a game by defending when there is AB still batting at the crease and to devise a game plan to get de Villiers out is as impossible as AB not taking his side home in a pressure chase. Hence we will skip how to get de Villiers out.

An afternoon game on the Wankhede is expected to be a  run-fest. The best chance CSK can give themselves is to bat their opposition out of the game and with the batting depth they possess, it is not going to be a tough ask.

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Taking strides as a cricket data analyst. I record my observations in the form of words and graphs.