MS Dhoni discloses why he batted at Number 7: The captain of Chennai Super Kings faced criticism for batting low in a 217-run chase.
Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has admitted that his team suffered on the back of not getting a good start in a 217-run chase against Rajasthan Royals in Sharjah tonight.
Chennai’s opening batsmen in Murali Vijay (21) and Shane Watson (33) scored only 19 runs in the first three overs. While they made amends by adding another 34 runs in the second half of the powerplay, them getting out in successive overs didn’t work in their favour.
“With 217 on the board, we needed a very good start which was not the case. Steve [Smith] and Sanju [Samson] batted very well,” Dhoni was quoted as saying during the post-match presentation ceremony.
Crediting the opposition spinners for controlling the proceedings in the middle-overs, Dhoni found faults in his bowlers but chose to not name anyone. While CSK’s spinners were found guilty of bowling too full, pacer Lungi Ngidi leaked 30 runs in the last over to make matters worse.
“Need to give credit to their bowlers. There was a lot of dew. Once you’ve seen the first innings, you know the length to bowl. Their spinners did well to bowl away from the batsman. Their spinners didn’t try too many things. That was an error our spinners did in their first couple of overs.
“Without singling out anyone, a controllable we could have controlled is no-balls. Had we not bowled no-balls, we would have been chasing 200, and it would have been a very good game,” Dhoni said.
MS Dhoni discloses why he batted at Number 7
It was yet another match where 39-year old Dhoni was severely criticized for batting down the order. Despite Super Kings needing to score around 12 runs per over for most part of their innings, Dhoni only came out to bat in the 14th over below the likes of Sam Curran (17) and Kedar Jadhav (22).
Dhoni, whose last competitive match before IPL 2020 had come during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, threw light on his lack of match practice as a primary reason for him opting to bat as low as he did. Having shared a brisk 65-run partnership with du Plessis (72), Dhoni praised the former South African captain for his 14th IPL half-century in a 16-run loss.
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) September 22, 2020
“I haven’t batted for a long time. 14-day quarantine doesn’t help either. Also wanted to try different things, give opportunities to Sam [Curran]. Have the opportunity to try different things.
“If it doesn’t work, you can always go back to your strengths. Faf [du Plessis] adapted very well. Something the batsmen will do, neglect square leg and go more towards long-on and long-off,” Dhoni concluded.