CSK vs RCB: Three things we learned from IPL 2019 opener

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Defending champions Chennai Super Kings got off to a winning start in IPL 2019 after their demolition of Royal Challengers Bangalore at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai. Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir led the way with three wickets apiece as RCB were bundled out for 70 before CSK got the victory with seven wickets to spare.

Here are the three main takeaways from CSK’s win over RCB:

CSK’s home advantage

With three front-line spinners and two part-time spinners at their disposal, it was unsurprising that CSK opted to field after winning the toss on a spin-friendly track. But what was surprising was the amount of turn on offer right from the outset.

Harbhajan Singh got CSK going by getting rid of Virat Kohli in his second over and after that, they didn’t look back. By the time, Dwayne Bravo came in to bowl the 18th over and picked up the final wicket, CSK’s spin trio of Jadeja, Harbhajan and Tahir finished with figures of 12-1-44-8.

With 13 wins from their last 14 IPL matches in Chennai, CSK’s home ground is already a fortress and with the amount of turn that is on offer and the quality of their spinners, it will be a tough ask for any team to beat the defending champions on their own turf.

RCB’s costly mistake

While CSK’s spinners had a field day, RCB and Virat Kohli were left wondering what could have been. Kohli couldn’t do much about losing the toss but the team combination on a spin-friendly track left a lot to be desired.

While some poor shot selection also contributed to RCB’s downfall, even if they got to a par total, they only had two spin options in Moeen Ali and Yuzvendra Chahal. Against a side that had five spin options and Bravo, with his cutters, Kohli went with fast bowling all-rounders instead of spin options.

That both spinners got plenty of purchase and CSK won the game in only the 18th over, only highlights their mistake.

Raina’s record-breaking day

Suresh Raina has been synonymous with the IPL ever since the tournament’s inception. So it should come as little surprise that he added yet another record to his impressive kitty as CSK registered their seventh successive win over RCB in IPL.

Raina became the first player to score 5,000 runs in IPL history. The southpaw, who already holds the record for being the first player to 2,000 and 3,000 IPL runs, got to this milestone against Kohli, who was also gunning for the same record.

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