After winning a close encounter on Wednesday against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are positioned on the top of the points-table in the ongoing IPL.
Batting first, the MS Dhoni-led team put up a gargantuan total of 220/3 in their allotted twenty overs. Their opener Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis set the tone from the first ball of the match itself. While du Plessis was the highest scorer in the game smashing 95 runs off 60 balls laced with nine fours and four sixes, Gaikwad re-discovering his form after a good IPL last year was the moment of the day for Chennai. The youngster smoked 65 runs off 42 balls, hitting six fours and four sixes. Even veteran bowlers like Pat Cummins were thrashed all over the park.
Talking about the same in the post-match presentation, Dhoni said that the Pune-born youngster had shown his class in the previous IPL, and it is necessary for one to access Gaikwad’s confidence to understand his frame of mind. Dhoni quoted one such instance where he caught the 24-year-old off-guard and asked him if he was shaken by his poor performance in the last three matches. Gaikwad oozing confidence in his eyes was enough to tell the World Cup-winning captain that the former will bounce back soon.
“Rutu is somebody who has shown his class in the last IPL. You always need to assess where he is mentally. Once when he was off guard, I just asked him how are you feeling today. When you put a question like that, you wait for the reactions, you see what’s in his eyes. There was enough in his reactions to suggest he wasn’t rattled,” Dhoni said in the post-match conference.
Despite a scare from Pat Cummins and Andre Russell, the ‘Men in Yellow’ won by 18 runs. Reflecting on the same, Dhoni said that from the 16th over onwards, it was a contest between bat and ball, and the captain didn’t play a major role after that. The veteran went on to add that he prefers to be humble and respects the opposition’s ability to chase the mammoth total.
“From the 16th over onwards, the contest was between the fast bowler and the batsman. You can’t do too much. Can’t put different fields. It’s about you vs me. The side that has one is a side that has executed slightly better. But if they would’ve had more wickets, could’ve been different. Have seen enough in cricket, always like to be humble. There’s no good reason if you have scored, the opposition can’t score,” Dhoni added.
When asked about the instructions he gave to his bowlers, Dhoni re-iterated that all he told them was to be humble. He also asserted that since KKR had lost their wickets early, the only option left for them was to play as aggressively as they can.
“My lines to the players was that we have got good runs on the board but let’s be humble. You don’t want to take too many early wickets. Big hitters coming in, 200 runs, there’s only one way they’ll play. Not much you can do. The only option was Jadeja. It was turning, was a bit dry. The batting has been really good,” Dhoni said before signing off.
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