Known for his ability to finish games from near impossible scenarios, Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni raised eyebrows by batting at a lower position despite his team in a stiff position in chase of 217 against Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday night.Also Read - IPL 2022 Auction: Shreyas Iyer to Harshal Patel; Players Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Could Target
Chasing the mammoth target, CSK finished on 200/6 with RR starting their IPL 2020 campaign with a 16-run win. Also Read - IPL 2022: Virender Sehwag Reacts on CSK Captain MS Dhoni's New Look in Latest Ad | WATCH VIDEO
Dhoni sent allrounder Sam Curran and Kedar Jadhav ahead of him in the batting order. Also Read - IPL 2022 Auction: Shahrukh Khan, Faf du Plessis to Quinton de Kock, Dwayne Bravo; Stars MS Dhoni's CSK Will Target
When asked the rationale behind the decision, the veteran replied, I haven’t batted for a long time. 14-day quarantine doesn’t help.”
Dhoni was referencing to the extra two-week quarantine period CSK players had to undergo after 13 members of their contingent tested positive for coronavirus.
CSK didn’t start well in their chase with their opener Murali Vijay run-a-ball 21. On the other hand, his opening partner Shane Watson struck 33 off 21.
The push came from Faf du Plessis who scored 72 off 37 but Dhoni never got going and after a scratchy start, did manage three sixes in the final over to remain unbeaten on 29 off 17.
“With 217 on the board, we needed a very good start which was not the case. Steve (Smith) and (Sanju) Samson batted very well. We need to give credit to their bowlers. Once you’ve seen the first innings, you knew the lengths to bowl,” Dhoni said.
“Their spinners did well to bowl away from the batsman. Our spinners made the error to bowl too full. If we would’ve maybe restricted them to 200, it would’ve been a good game,” he added.
RR captain Steve Smith, who scored 69 off 47, praised Jofra Archer for his late blitz that saw the Englishman blast 27 off just eight deliveries.
“I think the last surge from Jofra was an incredible bit of hitting. Sanju Samson, looked like everything he hit went for six. MS smacked a few in the end, and Faf got going too, but nice to get a win,” Smith said.
Smith was all praise for Sanju Samson’s sublime innings at the top with the wicketkeeper-batsman scoring 74 off 32.
“Sanju was incredible, and all I had to do was give him the strike. This should give him a lot of confidence. Jos (Buttler) is a quality player and we’ll see what happens when he comes back. Hard to take the opening slot away from someone like him,” Smith said.