Chennai Super Kings (CSK) held their nerves in a high-scoring thriller to register a hat-trick of wins in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Having amassed a mammoth total of 220, CSK skittled out Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for 202 to clinch the game. It was Pat Cummins’ heroic innings of 66* that took KKR to the doorsteps of victory but in the end, it wasn’t enough.
CSK skipper MS Dhoni admits that the result could easily have been the opposite had KKR had one more wicket in their hands. Dhoni feels that in the death overs, it was all about execution, it was reduced to a contest between “the fast bowler and the batsman”. He adds that it was the side with a better execution that won tonight.
“I think it’s easy [for me] in a game like this because from the 15th and 16th over onwards, the contest was between the fast bowler and the batsman [laughs]. It was you vs me. The side that won was maybe the one that executed it better. If 20 overs had been completed, it would have been more closer,” Dhoni said following the game.
“It’s important to be humble and give respect to the opposition,” MS Dhoni
Even with a massive total on board, Dhoni asked his side to be “humble” on the field. The CSK skipper asserts that every side in the IPL has big hitters and no total is safe. His saying was proved right as KKR were fingertips away from stealing a wind from under CSK’s noses.
“It’s important to be humble and give respect to the opposition. Every IPL team has big-hitters. I told them [my team-mates] we have good runs on the board, but we need to stay humble. Only option was Jadeja [vs Russell] because the ball was stopping and spinning,” Dhoni adds.
After three no-shows, Ruturaj Gaikwad returned to form tonight with a brilliant half-century. Dhoni felt that the young gun was clear with his mindset and hence didn’t hesitate from handing him another opportunity to prove his prowess.
“The batting has been really well. Rutu showed his class in the last IPL. We always need to assess where he is mentally. He doesn’t seem rattled and he has the basics to make it big. What would’ve helped him is the last few games last year when he wasn’t successful,” he signed off.
It was a century stand between Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis which set the foundation for a massive total. Du Plessis was in sublime touch this evening as he remained unbeaten on 95. The game also saw MS Dhoni smash his first six of the season and get into the groove.