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IPL 2024: CSK steps away from spin formula to master Gujarat Titans at Chepauk

One of the trademarks of a typical Chennai Super Kings team, especially while playing at its fortress, M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, is having a plethora of spinners at its disposal.

And it would have come as a surprise that Ruturaj Gaikwad’s side brought death-bowling specialist Matheesha Pathirana into the line-up in place of spinner Maheesh Theekshana for the fixture against Gujarat Titans at Chepauk on Tuesday.

Uncharacteristic move

CSK’s uncharacteristic move worked like magic, on a pitch with a tinge of green on it, as the five-time IPL champion trumped GT by 63 runs, with each of its five medium pacers taking at least one wicket.

Not a spinners’ day

Ravindra Jadeja not being required to bowl his full quota of overs (2-0-15-0), and the opposition tweakers Rashid Khan (4-0-49-2) and R. Sai Kishore (3-0-28-1) finding it tough to create an impact made CSK’s decision to tinker with its combination look even better.

CSK’s ploy, though, would not have solely relied on the nature of the track. The think-tank saw the upside in having two death bowlers in Pathirana and Mustafizur Rahman — which also helped get the best out of Tushar Deshpande who could finish his spell (4-0-21-2) by the 16th over.

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GT seamer Mohit Sharma voiced the same opinion during the post-match press conference.

“I feel CSK would have gone with two spinners if the pitch was drier,” Mohit said. “Every team comes as a package. And, depending on the scenario at the ground, sides look to bring out the best Playing XI,” he added.

It is still early days in Ruturaj’s captaincy career and the fact that he is not averse to taking bold calls to optimise the resources he has — something that M.S. Dhoni is known for — should hold him in good stead.

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