IPL 2024: CSK’s latest auction picks come up clutch in season opener against RCB

Chennai Super Kings its 2024 IPL campaign to an ideal start with a comprehensive win over Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the opening game at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.

The victory followed the Super Kings’ tried-and-tested template of using spinners to choke the runs, complemented by its batters’ aggressive approach looking for boundaries throughout the innings.

More importantly, the success highlighted the team’s auction strategy as its three acquisitions made telling impacts.

READ | Match Report – CSK vs RCB IPL 2024

With opener Devon Conway and pacer Matheesha Pathirana injured, their replacements, Rachin Ravindra and Mustafizur Rahman, stepped up to the task immediately. Left-arm pacer Rahman (4/29) set things up with his early strikes in the first two overs that left RCB reeling at 78 for five. From there, the visitor just about managed to post a par score.

The defending champion got the Bangladeshi pacer at a base price of Rs 2 crore. After the auction in December 2023, Indian cricketer R. Ashwin praised the signing, saying the 28-year-old could be lethal on the grippy surfaces in Chepauk with his cutters. The ‘Fizz’, as called by his fans, flummoxed Faf du Plessis, Virat Kohli, and Cameron Green with his cutters and was hard to score off.

It was Rachin Ravindra’s turn in the second essay. The Kiwi, who was another steal at the auction for just Rs 1.8 crore, set the chase brilliantly with his 15-ball 37. The stylish left-hander kept things simple, hitting on the rise with pulls and flicks to immediately put the visitors under the pump.

Later, Daryl Mitchell’s cameo gave a glimpse of why the team splurged Rs 14 crores for his services. Mitchell took just a few balls before lofting leg-spinner Karn Sharma straight down the ground for consecutive sixes to keep the momentum through the middle overs.

Though it is still early days, CSK can feel good about their homework paying off and expect similar returns through the tournament.

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