du Plessis affirms CSK captain Dhoni as Best Hitter: Super Kings opening batsman was wax lyrical about his captain MS Dhoni.
Chennai Super Kings opening batsman Faf du Plessis was declared ‘Man of the Match‘ for forcing the attack on Delhi Capitals bowlers in Qualifier 2 of IPL 2019 last night. In an 81-run opening partnership with Shane Watson, du Plessis’ 39-ball 50 didn’t let his partner’s initial struggle hamper the chase.
In 11 matches for CSK this season, du Plessis has scored 370 runs at an average of 37 and a strike rate of 120.12. Having scored three half-centuries, du Plessis has come good for the franchise in a season where their batsmen haven’t played to the best of their potential.
Being asked about batting approach at the start with Watson during the post-match presser, du Plessis laid emphasis on not taking too much risk initially but backing it with one of them going after the bowlers. “The first two overs are about if they bowl a bad ball, obviously, score the boundary. But it’s not to take too much risk, especially in those first two overs.
“And then from overs 3-6, we’re hoping that one of us will get on top of a bowler or two bowlers. Tonight, I got a good over against Ishant [Sharma] and that kickstarted the Powerplay. So that allowed him to just take a couple – and more – balls,” du Plessis was quoted as saying.
Du Plessis opens up on opening the batting
In 44 T20Is for South Africa, du Plessis has opened the batting only once. Being asked to open the batting at Chennai, the Proteas captain hasn’t let the defending champions down. It is worth mentioning that it was the 34-year old batsman’s 42-ball 67* in an otherwise poor batting effort which saw CSK reaching the final in IPL 2018.
“Obviously my career I’ve always batted 3 and 4,” du Plessis said on being asked about his new batting position. “So, the first time I really got an opportunity to open was with Chennai. Because that’s where the gap is. Suresh [Raina] has batted No. 3 since he was 18 for Chennai and he’s going to bat three for I suppose a few more years. Even [MS] Dhoni sometimes bats at 4 or 5.
“So the opportunity for me was to open the batting, especially after [Michael] Hussey, when he left. South Africa team I bat three, it’s probably my best role. It was good for me to just grow my game, just batting different circumstances,” du Plessis added.
And that’s 50 for Faf du Plessis, coming off 37 balls 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/dFi1l2zG7g
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 10, 2019
Du Plessis affirms CSK captain Dhoni as “Best Hitter”
Before concluding, du Plessis admitted that barring captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Chennai’s batsmen haven’t had the best of season. “The nature of our whole batting line-up is we haven’t been in our best form, because we haven’t been playing on a flat wicket all the time. If you look at all of the batters in the Top six, apart from MS, who has been really consistent throughout the competition, everyone has find it difficult [to get consistency].
“So naturally you need a few more balls to hit the ball middle of the bat. Once we get through that, we generally score quicker. We saw that innings where [Shane] Watson got 96 – once he gets through the Powerplay, he plays really well. So that’s a real strength of ours just to get through that, and it just frees up all the players,” du Plessis mentioned.
Displaying faith in CSK’s middle-order, du Plessis unveiled that it has been their strength this season. Wax lyrical about Dhoni, du Plessis affirmed him as the “Best Hitter” in world cricket.
“A big strength of ours is our hitting capability towards the end. MS Dhoni is the best hitter in world cricket. You don’t want to have him in the eight or ninth over. You’ve got [Ravindra] Jadeja, [Ambati] Rayudu and [Dwayne] Bravo, all these guys have got great expanse of games and we know that,” du Plessis further added.