Ravindra Jadeja played a pivotal role in helping Chennai Super Kings crush Mumbai Indians to storm into their fifth Indian Premier League final on Tuesday here at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Although Dwayne Smith looked the dangerous man after he blazed away to a 28-ball 68, Jadeja felt getting the wicket of Kieron Pollard, who scored a quickfire 24 off 16 balls (1x4s and 2x6s), was crucial in beating Mumbai and secure their berth in the final.
“In the first 10 overs, they were on 92 for two. We made a good comeback from there and in the last five overs, all the bowlers bowled well. And after he (Pollard) got out, it seemed like Mumbai Indians were all out,” Jadeja, who finished with three for 31, told IPLT20.com
Jadeja revealed his strategy to make Pollard play on the off side. “He is strong on the on-side. The plan was to bowl to him outside off and make him stretch for his big shots. I was trying to keep the ball outside his reach and was also bowling slow so that he struggles with his timing,” he said.
Chasing CSK’s target of 193, Mumbai Indians folded up for 144 due to a middle-order collapse as Chennai won by 48 runs. Mahendra Singh Dhoni turned to Jadeja to stop the dangerous Smith and it proved to be a masterstroke.
The left-arm spinner gave Super Kings the second crucial break through by getting rid of Smith, who spooned a straightforward catch to Suresh Raina.
As long as Smith was batting, Mumbai Indians were on course as they were 86 for one after eight overs. But Smith’s dismissal triggered a batting collapse and Mumbai Indians lost their next three wickets for just 14 runs.
They kept losing wickets and failed to stitch a decent partnership and were soon left struggling at 101 for four. Pollard came up with a 16-ball 24, hitting two consecutive sixes off Jadeja but the Jamnagar lad had the last laugh by getting rid of the big-hitting West Indian off his fifth ball with Hussey taking a good, low catch.
After Pollard’s dismissal, the tail could add just 17 runs at the cost of six wickets before being skittled out with eight balls to spare. Jadeja said his strategy was to look to dry up the runs and pressurise the batsmen.
“The plan was to not give boundaries because the format is such that if the batsmen don’t get boundaries then obviously there are chances of getting wickets,” Jadeja said.
“So that is what we were trying for. After 10 overs the ball was not coming on to the bat. We were trying to bowl slow deliveries and in the right areas so that they don’t get boundaries.”