Sam Curran: The English all-rounder proved his mettle after he was promoted to bat ahead of captain MS Dhoni in Abu Dhabi.
Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hailed the 115-run partnership between Faf du Plessis (58*) and Ambati Rayudu (71) which played an integral role in Chennai defeating defending champions Mumbai Indians by five wickets in the season opener.
With CSK reduced to 6/2 in the second over of a 163-run chase, two experienced campaigners in du Plessis and Rayudu joined hands to put on display a match-winning stand against a bowling lineup comprising of Trent Boult, James Pattinson and Jasprit Bumrah.
“[Ambati] Rayudu had a wonderful partnership with Faf [du Plessis]. Most of us are retired so luckily no injuries as well,” Dhoni was quoted as saying during the post-match presentation ceremony. “The experience pays off, everyone talks about it. You get it only after you play a lot of games.
“300 ODIs is a dream for anybody to play and when you put an XI on the field, you need a good mix of youngsters and experienced players. You need the experienced players to guide the youngsters on and off the field. The young players get 60-70 days with the seniors in the IPL and they pick up things [from senior players],” he added.
MS Dhoni reveals why Sam Curran batted ahead of him vs Mumbai Indians
Needing 29 runs to win off 17 balls, Dhoni bamboozled one and all by sending all-rounder Sam Curran ahead of him at No. 6. Much like Dhoni’s other such intriguing decision throughout his career, this one also reaped fruits as the 22-year old southpaw scored 18 (6) including one four and two sixes to hand CSK a significant advantage.
Being asked about the same, Dhoni laid emphasis on giving more batting opportunities to the likes of all-rounder Jadeja and Curran and explained how the same was a “psychological” move.
May be not. Dhoni knows what Dhoni knows. Sam Curran has played an absolute blinder. 🙌🙏 and here he comes….. https://t.co/93dZ9vBaH1
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) September 19, 2020
“One thing we haven’t done is giving a chance to [Ravindra] Jadeja and Sam [Curran] to come up the order and express themselves which is what we did today. It was a psychological thing of saying that okay, we have batsmen down, so we’ll send one or two of them up to hit a few,” Dhoni said.
Before concluding, the 39-year old player also lauded the people who are working tirelessly behind-the-scenes to make IPL 2020 a possibility in the times of COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is an amazing job done by the IPL, especially ones behind the scenes. To make it happen there are a hundred different things; as cricketers we easily criticize stuff. To have the practice facilities like these at the ICC academy were fantastic. Unless you get practice facilities you won’t play well in a tournament like this,” Dhoni concluded.