MS Dhoni credited Ruturaj Gaikwad and Dwayne Bravo for helping Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to a fighting total after a disastrous start against Mumbai Indians (MI) in the first match of the UAE leg in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
At 24 for four, with Ambati Rayudu retired hurt, even the optimist in MS Dhoni doubted a strong finish. Gaikwad’s unbeaten 58-ball 88 helped CSK to 156, which proved 20 runs too many for the defending champions.
“At 30 for four, you want to put up a respectable score. I felt Rutu and Bravo got us more than what we expected. We thought of 140. To get close to 160 was tremendous. The wicket was two-paced, slightly slow to start off. Also, it’s difficult if you’re batting lower down; if you don’t get a chance to see what is happening, you want to go hard. Rayudu got injured, so it was tough to come back, but we batted sensibly and finished superbly.
Ruturaj Gaikwad paced his innings well, starting steadily and accelerating in the end overs to ensure CSK posted a competitive score. He shared a 16-ball 39 runs partnership with Dwayne Bravo in the death overs.
“You always think you could have gone harder earlier, but with wickets down, it was a risk. There’s always a catch. It was sensible for one batter to bat right through to the end,” said MS Dhoni in the post-match presentation ceremony.
The win takes CSK to the top spot in the IPL 2021 points table, tied for 12 points against Delhi Capitals (DC). CSK’s net run rate of 1.22 keeps them at the top.
Ambati Rayudu was smiling: MS Dhoni after CSK's big win in IPL 2021 phase 2 opener
MS Dhoni gave an update on Ambati Rayudu, stating that the batter hasn’t broken his arm. One of the batting stars for CSK this season, the batter was struck in the hand while trying to duck a bouncer from Adam Milne and retired hurt.
“Rayudu was smiling, so he hasn’t broken his arm. He has four days now, and that should help him,” quipped MS Dhoni when asked to provide an update on the batter’s injury.
The three-time IPL champions next play the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Friday at the high-scoring venue in Sharjah.