MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni. (Photo: IPL)

MS Dhoni was pleased to see his side become the first team in IPL 2021 to qualify for the playoffs after Chennai Super Kings (CSK) registered a 6-wicket win over the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday. With this victory, CSK have assured themselves a playoff berth, acquiring 18 points, while eliminating SRH from the competition.

MS Dhoni reflected on their season last year, when they failed to finish in the top four for the first time in their IPL history. He asserted “a lot didn’t go our way” last season, but they have been almost indomitable this season, winning 9 of their 11 games.

Chennai Super Kings, CSK
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

He credited the players and the support staff for this strong comeback, and also for keeping up their momentum from the first half to the second half of the tournament this year.

“It means a lot, because the last time, we said we wanted to come back strong. We are known for that and there was a lot at stake. You won’t always win games and a lot didn’t go our way last time, and it’s important not to make excuses and we have done that this year. The boys did well to keep the momentum going, and they’ve taken responsibilities to keep all departments of the game in balance so the players and the support staff get the credit,” MS Dhoni said at the post-match presentation.

The bowlers adjusted very well: MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni was effusive in praise for his bowlers for adjusting well to the slow and low pitch in Sharjah as they halted the SRH batting to 134. Josh Hazlewood was the pick of the CSK bowlers, returning with figures of 3/24, his best figures in the IPL, and bagged the Man of the Match award.

Josh Hazlewood
Josh Hazlewood (Image Credit: Twitter)

“The bounce of the wicket was different – instead of knee height, it was shin height, and once the batsmen figured out that they have to hit straight, they succeeded. The bowlers tried to swing it upfront and got hit straight when they pitched it up too much, but then adjusted very well.

“I told the bowlers that they needed to exploit the conditions in today’s game. If the oddball stopped early on, it started coming onto the bat later. Not much needs to be said of the fans, who have supported us through thick and thin and I’m glad we have repaid their faith,” the CSK skipper concluded.

CSK next take on Rajasthan Royals, who are struggling for playoff qualification with currently 8 points. The game will be held on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.

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