Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni admitted that he was taken aback by the nature of the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi as he heaped high praise on his opening duo of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis, whose rollicking 129-run-stand in just 13 overs set the platform for the fifth win on the bounce for the former champions in IPL 2021.
Needing 172 to win, Ruturaj Gaikwad [75 off 44] and Faf du Plessis [56 off 38] took SunRisers Hyderabad bowling attack to task on what turned to be a pretty flat surface in Delhi.
The track in Delhi is historically slow and sluggish and shot-making isn’t that easy. But, barring David Warner, who endured a forgettable outing during his 55-ball 57, every batsman enjoyed his stay at the crease as the pitch offered no sideways movement or turn, as MS Dhoni alluded to in the presentation. He also revealed that there was no dew during the entire match.
”The batting was superb. But that doesn’t mean the bowling was not good. It was a surprisingly good wicket. Whenever we come to Delhi we never expect a wicket like this. It was coming on nicely, there was nothing for the spinners as well. Good thing was there was no dew. Last night we felt 170 was just below par if there’s no dew. Brilliant opening partnership,” said MS Dhoni in the post-match presentation.
MS Dhoni opens up about CSKs revival in fortunes
Chennai Super Kings had a rare blip last year as they failed to make it to the playoffs for the first time in IPL history. But, the three-time champions have come back well despite having lost the first game to Delhi Capitals to notch up five wins on the bounce and claim the numero-uno spot in the points table.
So, what has changed for the MS Dhoni-led outfit. According to the skipper, quick address of issues that plagued them last season, understanding that most of their players haven’t played any competitive cricket for a good 5-6 months and making them comfortable and ensuring that the dressing room environment remains healthy, apart from the individuals rising to the challenge followed by the support that backup players have given, has led to the change.
”Addressing the problem. Whenever you start the tournament, you may or may not face issues in playing XI. The earlier you settle the better. Another factor was 5-6 months we were out of cricket. Nothing was allowed. It’s not that you could go on your own and practice. That also makes it difficult. Change of quarantine was slightly longer. Lot of factors. Overall if I have to sum it up, the players have taken more responsibility this year. You will be facing adverse things but ultimately it boils down to how each individual rises to the occasion and gives the extra 10 percent for the team,” he said.
”Last 8-10 years we’ve not changed a lot of players so they know our approach. Also, we appreciate the players not playing a lot. Only way you can put it forward is having those nice interactions. Just try to have the frame of mind where if you get the opportunity you’ll be ready. Keeping the dressing room atmosphere healthy is important. It’s not an easy thing. When you’re at the top level you want to play. Have to give extra credit to the players who’ve not played so far,” MS Dhoni signed off.