It was an emotional night for Faf du Plessis, coming into the CSK XI off the back of a hot and cold league stage, soaking in all the pressure and taking CSK over the line when their backs were against the wall.
du Plessis hadn’t cemented his spot in the team during the league stage, as Billings was preferred in the middle order and Rayudu and Watson were flourishing with the bat at the top of the order.
However, Billings wasn’t doing well with the bat in the middle order, as he was unable to rotate the strike against spin or get away the pacers.
Hence, CSK had to go in for a different strategy, so that they could have someone in the middle who score against both the pacers and the spinners.
du Plessis was thus drafted into the XI, and was slotted into that opening position along with Watson. As a result, Rayudu had to drop down to that number 4 spot.
The move initially seemed to have backfired, as du Plessis was finding it tough to get the bowlers away and Rayudu was dismissed for a golden duck.
du Plessis though grew into the innings and targeted the right bowlers to take CSK home in one of the finest comebacks in IPL playoff history.
After the game, du Plessis was all smiles and expressed his surprise at having engineered that comeback.
“I just got in the change room now and said, how did we win that game. It felt just a little out of reach. It was great that guys came in and hit a few boundaries at the end.” du Plessis said
“Everything went our way towards the end on a wicket which wasn’t easy to bat on. Rashid Khan was a handful on that wicket.
“He was really really tough to play on that wicket. It stopped a bit on that wicket and he bowls quickly. It’s hard to take him on. Our plan was to get through him. And see which bowler to take down on the night. Towards the end I was just trying to place a few.” he added.
Faf also revealed how he took inspiration from his previous performances at the Wankhede.
“It’s nice to make a contribution tonight. Haven’t played much. Last night when I was preparing, I reflected on the games I’ve played here in Mumbai. It’s a stadium I’ve enjoyed playing. Took confidence from that.” he concluded.