Having lost five out of seven games played, Chennai Super Kings needed to do things differently against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday in the IPL 2020. In a surprise move, Sam Curran who batted in the lower middle order during CSK’s innings in previous matches was given the chance to open for his team. CSK coach Stephen Fleming was pleased with his decision as the all-rounder did not disappoint and gave his team a good start.
Sam Curran scored 31 runs off 21 deliveries at a strike rate of 147. His knock included three boundaries and two sixes. Though Faf du Plessis was out for a duck, Curran partnered with Shane Watson to ensure a steady flow of runs.
In the post-match press conference, Fleming explained the reason for the change up in the batting order.
“We have had Sam padded up for pretty much every inning, looking to inject him at a certain time. So we thought rather than getting clogged up and taking one batting resource out, put him at the top of the order. We put the honours on the batting line-up rather than hiding and shuffling. That was the main reason behind sending Curran up the order,” said Fleming.
Fleming admitted that the losing trend of the team was getting similar for which they needed to do something different. “We just wanted to get Sam in the game. His training has been great and the decision was taken to give us momentum at the top,” added the coach.
It was the first occasion in this season of IPL that CSK were batting first. Fleming said it was nice for their team to bat first in the match and added that they were so used to chasing by then that they were not sure how to go about it. But their experiment worked out well in the end.
CSK notched their third victory in the tournament, beating SRH by 20 runs. Watson (42 runs) and Rayudu (41 runs) made significant contributions with the bat, taking CSK’s total to 167 for 6 in 20 overs. In response, SRH were restricted to 147 for 8. Kane Williamson was the top scorer with 57 runs off 39 deliveries. But he did not get much support from the rest of the batsmen.
Ravindra Jadeja was adjudged man of the match for his 25-run knock (10 balls) and picking a crucial wicket of Jonny Bairstow for his side. Sam Curran can be expected to feature at the top of the batting order more often going forward.