The moment Sachin Tendulkar played a straight drive, one knew how incredibly talented the Mumbaikar was. Such was his presence and flair when playing the shot. Decades after Tendulkar's debut, another Mumbaikar is making the right noises and grabbing the spotlight at a young age.
Prithvi Shaw, who has got commentators in the IPL raving over this talent, cracked the record of being the youngest to get an IPL half-century the other night. On Wednesday, he showcased his unmistakable talent with just one extraordinary shot off Jaydev Unadkat. A good length delivery from the left-hand seamer was lofted nonchalantly over long-off with a mere extension of his arms.
The followthrough after the shot was so good that even if there was a fielder at long-off, he would have watched it sailing over. The sheer timing and effortlessness he showed in execution had fans in awe of his terrific batting talent and evoked comparisons one another time to the Master Blaster and even Brian Lara.
Delhi aim for the sky but Rajasthan cling on
A trio of Indian youngsters — Shaw, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer — bludgeoned the Rajasthan bowling attack to all corners of the Ferozshah Kotla. A notable aspect of the Delhi innings was the insane power-hitting exhibition put on by these youngsters, but as is the case in such situations, a lot of miscued shots went straight up in the air, miles into the dark, hazy sky.
Iyer hit one from Jaydev Unadkat so high that the ball seemed to have disappeared into heaven but once it did come down, Rahul Tripathi pouched a very difficult take. Two balls later, it was Pant's turn to send the ball scurrying into the night sky. Once again, the Rajasthan Royals’ fielder (Ben Stokes this time) did well to get underneath the ball and take an excellent catch. Unadkat forced another batsmen — Vijay Shankar — to hit high and handsome two overs later and for a third time, the Delhi batsmen couldn't find distance on the shot and once again the catch was safely pouched.
For a side that has been shoddy as a fielding unit this IPL (having taken only 73% of the catches this season), Rajasthan did extremely well to hold on to some difficult catches. The haze, rain and powerful hits from Delhi batsmen all stood against them but Rajasthan managed to cling on to the few chances that did come their way.
Glenn Maxwell mocks ball tracking and gets mocked back
There are quite a few criticisms going around ball-tracking technology but when Jofra Archer's pinpoint accurate yorker thudded into Glenn Maxwell's pads there was little doubt about the decision unless the Australian had managed to get an inside edge.
The umpire raised his finger in a jiffy but Maxwell had the 'T’ signal quicker than the speed of light and once could only assume that the all-rounder felt he had edged the ball. Replays, though, showed that there was no edge off the willow and the ball would crash onto the stumps quite clearly.
Maxwell's attempt at testing the ball tracking technology turned out to be futile as he became the subject of discussion yet again.
The battle of the Australians
With D’Arcy Short struggling to find his timing, Delhi turned to Maxwell to get rid of the fellow Australian. Being an off-break bowler, Iyer might have thought that Maxwell would tempt Short and bag a wicket but the first three balls had the Delhi skipper biting his nails vehemently.
Short, who had made just 26 from 21 balls despite the huge target in front of Rajasthan, found his feet as he clobbered Maxwell for three consecutive sixes. The pressure was on Maxwell to tidy things up particularly with Short being laughably out of form this season. Thankfully, Maxwell sent Short back to the hut on the fourth ball when he forced the latter to miscue a shot. The battle of the two Australian big-hitters turned out to be a rather colourful affair.
The Duckworth-Lewis anomaly
For the second time in the season, Rajasthan Royals against Delhi Daredevils was decided by the Duckworth-Lewis System after rain played spoilsport. Interestingly, on both occasions the team batting first won the match, which is an anomaly to the general trend in IPL.
This is the 19th IPL match where D/L has decided the outcome of a match and only on three occasions prior to this year had the team batting first won the match. This year, on both occasions — bizarrely between the very same teams, Rajasthan and Delhi — the team batting first managed to eke out a win.
In the first match between these two sides, Delhi were set 71 in six overs in a rain-curtailed match and they ended up losing by 10 runs. Rajasthan came a tad closer on Wednesday at the Kotla but still failed to gun down a stiff looking target although Jos Buttler's incredible powerhitting at the beginning gave them a realistic chance.