IPL 2020, RR vs MI: 3 players who flopped | 25 October

Yash Chaturvedi
·4-min read

RR chased down a difficult target to record the highest successful run-chase against MI. [PC: iplt20.com]
RR chased down a difficult target to record the highest successful run-chase against MI. [PC: iplt20.com]

Against the Mumbai Indians (MI), Rajasthan Royals (RR) opener Robin Uthappa departed in the second over of the run-chase to notch up yet another failure in IPL 2020.

More crucially, it put pressure on Ben Stokes, who was yet to face a ball at the other end. As it turned out, the England star took the opportunity to come good for RR and deliver against the table-toppers.

While MI's openers were more than able to chase down a 100-plus score in the previous game, they were less fluent on the night as Quinton de Kock departed early and Ishan Kishan consumed 36 balls of the innings for his 37.

Suryakumar Yadav and Saurabh Tiwary did boost the run-rate, but the eventual total of 195/5 was due to an almost single-handed effort at the end by Hardik Pandya, who took apart RR's death bowling. His 60* off 21 also meant RR still struggle to choose between Ankit Rajpoot and Jaydev Unadkat to complement Jofra Archer and Kartik Tyagi.

It wasn't entirely the Stokes show for RR - his century may yet have been inadequate if the batting around him had crumbled. On a big occasion, and possibly a little too late for RR, Sanju Samson found form once again.

While there seems to be no end to skipper Steve Smith's ails, Samson's quickfire fifty took the pressure off Stokes and allowed MI's target to be chased down with ease.

In a game that was a mixed bag for both teams, a few players let their teams down. Here's a look at the three biggest underperformers.

#3 Ankit Rajpoot (RR)

Ankit Rajpoot had little to celebrate in his expensive outing with the ball. [PC: iplt20.com]
Ankit Rajpoot had little to celebrate in his expensive outing with the ball. [PC: iplt20.com]

If not for a terrific partnership between the experienced duo of Samson and Stokes, Rajpoot may well have cost RR the game.

In stark contrast to his overseas bowling partner, Rajpoot was criminally expensive against almost every MI batsman he bowled to, and got some stick at the hands of Hardik Pandya.

Three of Rajpoot's overs came in the powerplay, where the otherwise slow Ishan Kishan took toll of him. It was due to his efforts that MI reached 59/1 at the end of the powerplay.

Coming back at the death, Rajpoot conceded 27 to finish with woeful figures of 4-0-60-0, and would be cursing the dropped catch of Pandya.

#2 Quinton de Kock (MI)

Quinton de Kock went for a glorious shot before playing onto his stumps next ball. [PC: iplt20.com]
Quinton de Kock went for a glorious shot before playing onto his stumps next ball. [PC: iplt20.com]

Star opener and South African T20 skipper Quinton de Kock has played a number of fine hands in this IPL, with four half-centuries and 374 runs to his name.

Though the lack of support from Rohit Sharma did not cost him in the previous match, MI's top-order issues when De Kock fails came to the fore a little here, as Kishan was unable to find the gaps and boundaries.

Facing up to Jofra Archer in the first over, QDK showed he too was like the several opening batsmen to have struggled against Archer's pace. An inside edge onto the stumps unceremoniously ended his innings for 6 off 4, and immediately pushed MI into recovery mode.

#1 Kieron Pollard (MI)

Kieron Pollard had an out-of-sorts day as captain and all-rounder. [PC: iplt20.com]
Kieron Pollard had an out-of-sorts day as captain and all-rounder. [PC: iplt20.com]

Apart from the task of cementing MI's position at the top, Pollard had a proud record to strive for - the most successive T20 wins as a captain.

After his unbeaten season with the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League, he had done exceedingly well against CSK in the previous game. All he needed to do was follow up the good work against a middling opposition in RR.

Unfortunately, Pollard's streak came to an end with what was eventually a comfortable chase. None of MI's bowlers were able to stop the charge, except James Pattinson who took two wickets but was very expensive.

With bat in hand, Pollard did strike a six, but he was unable to add much more to MI's late-overs surge as he was dismissed for just 6 off 4 balls. With the ball, the all-rounder's two overs went for 18 runs, as he was unable to contribute in either department for MI.