To err is human and it has been the case in the Indian Premier League 2020 as there have been some bad decisions by skippers that cost them the match.
Here we take a look at the top 5 tactical blunders by captains in IPL 2020 after the first four weeks of the competition:
Virat Kohli demoting AB de Villiers vs KXIP
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli’s decision to send AB de Villiers in at No 6 against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) turned out to be disastrous as the Bengaluru-based franchise lost their IPL 2020 match by eight wickets on Thursday, 15 October.
De Villiers, who batted at No 4 against Kolkata Knight Riders and smashed 73 off 33 in his 100-run stand with Kohli in their last game, was surprisingly demoted while Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube were sent ahead of him.
Both Sundar and Dube did nothing spectacular as RCB managed to get to 171/6 in 20 overs, thanks only to Chris Morris’s late-order hitting.
De Villiers could come in only in the 17th over and ended up with two off five balls as pressure to up the tempo on arrival mounted.
Kohli himself conceded after the match that the decision did not come off as RCB were short of 20-30 runs which cost them the match.
Steve Smith giving 19th over to Jaydev Unadkat vs RCB
The Royal Challengers Bangalore required 35 runs off the last two overs when Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith handed the ball to Jaydev Unadkat to bowl the 19th over. AB de Villiers did not let go of this opportunity as he smashed three sixes off the RR left-arm pacer’s first three deliveries to swing the match in RCB’s favour, on Saturday, 17 October.
With 25 runs taken of Unadkat’s over, RCB managed to score the remaining 10 runs in the last over bowled by Jofra Archer to inflict a gut-wrenching defeat on RR.
Smith was later thrashed by fans and cricket pundits for giving the penultimate over to Unadkat when Archer, who is RR’s premier bowler, had an over in hand.
Dinesh Karthik sending Rahul Tripathi to bat at no. 8 vs DC
Chasing a heavy target of 229 against Delhi Capitals in the match no. 16 of IPL 2020, Kolkata Knight Riders ex-skipper Dinesh Karthik, who recently handed the captaincy to Eoin Morgan, decided to send Shubman Gill and Sunil Narine to open, and the latter departed for mere three. At number three, came Nitish Rana, who was their top scorer, with a score of 58.
However, what raised eyebrows was that Rahul Tripathi, who happens to be an opener in the domestic circuit, was pushed down to number eight due to which many questioned skipper Karthik’s tactics as KKR lost the game by 18 runs.
MS Dhoni giving last over to Jadeja vs DC
DC needed 17 runs off last six balls against Chennai Super Kings on Saturday in the 34th game of IPL 2020 and to everyone’s surprise, CSK skipper MS Dhoni went with Ravindra Jadeja, the left-arm spinner, to defend the total in the last over. The decision turned to be horrible as DC all-rounder Axar Patel smacked three sixes at will to win the game for his team.
Interestingly, Chennai’s death bowling specialist Dwayne Bravo, was not fit to bowl the last over after walking off the field due to which Dhoni gave the ball to Jadeja. However, one can argue if the former Indian sipper would have picked Piyush Chawla instead of out-of-form Kedar Jadhav in the playing XI then he would have the better bowling option.
KL Rahul not playing Chris Gayle in the first half of IPL 2020
KXIP skipper KL Rahul made a blunder by not playing Chris Gayle in the first half of the IPL 2020 and they paid for it as the Punjab-based franchise is currently at the bottom of the points table with just two wins from eight games. They kept the ‘Universe Boss’ out for seven consecutive games as they failed to find a suitable position for him in the team with Rahul and Mayank Agarwal performing well as the openers.
However, Gayle was finally given the opportunity against RCB and the West Indian didn’t disappoint as he smashed 36-balls fifty despite coming to bat at no. 3.
The innings by Gayle ultimately helped KXIP to win their second game of the tournament and the franchise learned their lesson that they just can’t leave arguably the biggest T20 player out of the playing XI. But it might be too late for KXIP to make amends as they are practically out of the tournament.