Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has praised Umesh Yadav for his excellent spell during the Delhi Capitals’ (DC) run chase in last night’s IPL 2022 match against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as well. Yadav registered figures of 3/24 in his four-over spell as KKR tried to defend a 147-run target. However, his efforts went in vain as Rishabh Pant’s side won the match by four wickets with an over to spare.
While reflecting on the match in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra said: “Life has given him (Umesh) another chance and he has grabbed it with both hands because no one wanted to buy him, he was not sold in the first round. He used to be with Delhi and was sold at the base price this time. From the time he has got the chance here, the second chance in his life, he has turned it around.”
He continued, “When you are defending 146 what do you need to do? I will say pick up a wicket with the first ball and Umesh Yadav did that. Prithvi Shaw – he had hit five fifties in his last seven innings against this team, dismissed him off the first ball, what a brilliant catch he took. After that, he took more wickets. He dismissed David Warner and Pant, 3/24 in four overs.”
However, Umesh Yadav took a superb return catch to remove Prithvi Shaw off the very first delivery of the Delhi Capitals’ chase. The veteran speedster has returned again to remove David Warner and Rishabh Pant in his second spell to keep KKR in the game. While applauding David Warner’s knock during the Delhi Capitals’ chase, Aakash Chopra wasn’t happy with Mitchell Marsh’s approach though. Even, he also praised Axar Patel and Rovman Powell for guiding the Delhi Capitals to a win.
“Umesh Yadav did pick up wickets but before that David Warner had made crucial runs. You will think about Mitchell Marsh – What was he doing? Did no one tell you that you are not chasing 185 but 146? When Pant’s wicket fell, I felt a little turmoil had been spread because Lalit Yadav was going very slow. But there Axar came and played a very important knock. Then came Rovman Powell and he destroyed them (KKR), he was absolutely brilliant,” Aakash Chopra stated.
However, KKR suffered a four-wicket defeat against Delhi and it was their fifth straight defeat in the tournament. With this, they are almost out of the playoff race.
Chopra elaborated: “One thing is confirmed that KKR is not taiyaar. They are actually in quite a bad state. To be very honest, when I see Kolkata, I feel do they know their XI, do they have an idea of what they are doing? You give an opportunity to Baba Indrajith, who is actually not a keeper, but you got him to keep. Then you get in Harshit Rana. Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi and Sam Billings did not get a place in the team. You went in with quite a few changes and then you changed your opening combination once again – Venkatesh Iyer and Aaron Finch this time.”
Aaron Finch, who missed the last game due to injury, returned as an opener alongside Venkatesh Iyer, who has been shuffling up and down the order. Varun Chakravarthy was also dropped after his poor returns in the tournament so far. While speaking about the Kolkata Knight Riders batting, Aakash Chopra added that there is no end to Aaron Finch’s struggle against incoming deliveries.
He observed: “I don’t understand one thing about Aaron Finch. I have never seen an international captain, a world-winning captain, having such a big weakness, that incoming deliveries take him out. Everyone knows about it but that weakness is still there even after 10 years, it is incredible how it is there.”
The veteran continued: “Their (KKR’s) innings didn’t go anywhere, you expect it to gather some pace. Once again it was a batting disorder. Shreyas Iyer bats at his position but after that, whoever feels like going is sent in. Indrajith comes there, Sunil Narine also comes, Nitish Rana is moved down – what is the batting order, I didn’t understand it at all. In the end, it was a very good knock from Nitish Rana. Rinku Singh gave him support and you reached 146, that’s all you actually managed in 20 overs. Yes, it’s a slow surface but 165 runs should have still been scored. There is no might seen at all in the batting.”
He also shared his unhappiness seeing Kuldeep Yadav didn’t get his full quota of four overs. He returned with the figures of 4/14 in just three overs as the Capitals restricted KKR to a score of 146/9 and eventually won the match by four wickets with an over to spare.
He said: “We saw Kuldeep shining. My Player of the Match has to be Kuldeep Yadav. He took four wickets while conceding just 14 runs and bowled only three overs. You are thinking why only three, did he get injured – no. I have no idea, why? It was beyond my understanding. If you take four wickets in three overs – which includes the wickets of Shreyas Iyer, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine – what more do you need? You are taking wickets as if it is not a difficult thing at all.”
“It has happened for the first time that any bowler has taken eight wickets against Kolkata in one season – four in the last match and four in this match, and the captain didn’t give him the fourth over. I am at a loss of words about why this happened. Agree there were two lefties – Nitish Rana was batting with Rinku – but Sunil Narine is also a left-hander and he dismissed him. He has dismissed a lot of left-handers, his ball in any case turns and goes away. He (Kuldeep) has been utilized extremely well till now, he has bowled amazingly well till now as well. He is trapping the batters with turn, he is not getting scared of flighting the ball, his speed has increased a little and because of that, he has been absolutely outstanding,” Aakash Chopra concluded.