CSK vs MI: Four balls from hell, Dhoni tries to steal but is caught & walk like Arjuna

Talk about walking into fire. Robin Uthappa, who walked into a semi-crisis, was stunned out by Jasprit Bumrah’s fiery leg cutters. The first ball shaved past the defensive prod and Uthappa pursed his lips, mimicked the leg cutter and the movement in respect. Not that it helped him in the next two balls, as they invited drives but kept whizzing past the edge. So far, it had been all outside off channel.

Would the next one come in? That would be too cheap a trick for Bumrah, who went for another leg cutter but got to start this beauty from the middle and off line. Uthappa pushed forward, thrusting his bat in line, but it cut away viciously to ram the back leg right in front of the off stump.

Uthappa signalled for the non-existing DRS – power cut at stadium had delayed its introduction, not that it would have saved him. Seldom has a IPL batsman recieved four quality deliveries right up, like this; Uthappa had no chance, really.

Dhoni tries to steal but is caught

MS Dhoni knew it was going to be a bouncer last ball of the over to prevent him from retaining the strike and had supposedly alerted his non-striker, the no 11 batsman Mukesh Choudhary. As soon as the ball flew over his head, Dhoni set off. And to be fair, Choudhary had started to run as soon the bowler Meridith released the ball. But the Mumbai wicketkeeper Ishan Kishen was quick and accurate. He hadn’t taken his right glove off – some ‘keepers might have taken the right glove off pre delivery, but released the ball quickly and got a direct hit, leaving Choudhary well stranded. Could Dhoni have done the other way around? We have sometimes see batsmen stand their ground on similar situations, allow the non-striker to reach their side, and then try dashing across to the other end. That nullifies any direct hit at striker’s end from the keeper and forces him to try get the throw to the bowler on his follow-through. Dhoni trudged off the ground, up the stairs, turned into the dressing room, caught the replay on the tv inside, and shook his head in disappointment.

Shuffle and crash, edge and taken

Rohit Sharma had just survived a lbw call against an in swinger from the left-handed seamer Mukesh Choudhary. In the past, the left-handed seamers have had their moments against him. So what does he do next ball? Just prior to delivery, he moved outside leg stump and waited. Choudhary kept the inswinger on the stumps and Sharma crashed it up and over mid-off on a bent knee. A most gorgeous straight delivery came next over off Simarjeet Singh; It was as straight as anything Sachin Tendulkar has produced. Good response, though, from Simarjeet who produced a cracking leg cutter next ball to beat the edge. Some comic relief came next ball. Seeing Rohit charge way too early, Simarjeet chose the bouncer but in his eagerness he had banged it way too short and it flew over MS Dhoni for four byes. Simarjeet composed himself to produce a lovey delivery next ball that shaped away from just outside off, sucking Rohit into an iffy prod. Edge and taken.

The umpire Chirra Ravikanthreddy no doubt has walked into a viral Gif. (Twitter)

Should I signal Wide? Oh MS, I will give it out

The umpire Chirra Ravikanthreddy no doubt has walked into a viral Gif. He was shaping to extend his arms to signal a wide but such was the intensity in the appeal of the wicketkeeper MS Dhoni that he quickly aborted the wide plan, and pulled up his right arm to signal Hrithik Shokeen was out, caught down the leg side. Of course, Shokeen wasn’t amused and went for the DRS which showed that it wasn’t a wide alright but it missed the bat comfortably and went off the thigh pad. We have had a few instances like this in the past. Chris Gaffianey had once raised his finger to rule Cheteshwar Pujara out before at the last minute, preferring to scratch his hatted head. Moe famously, in 1997, the umpire Raman Sharma had begun to raise his finger to rule Ajay Jadeja caught behind but changed his mind to do a Gaffaney. Or rather Gaffaney did a Sharma. Reddy, merely, succumbed to the MS reputation.

Walk like Arjuna

In these days of athletic bodies and the philosophy of being ever-ready to steal extra runs, the cheeky walks of Arjuna Ranatunga have been binned to nostalgia. Luckily, Mumbai Indians’ Tilak Varma rewound the clock for us after tapping a ball to long-off. There was no attempt to push the fielder, of being ready in case there is a slip-up; Varma just walked. But without the assuredness of a Arjuna. Varma indulged in quick walking; Arjuna would have perhaps sighed at the lack of self-confidence but at least it was something in these days of running hard even when a simple walk would do.

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