MS Dhoni was a relief man after Chennai Super Kings survived a scare, first by Andre Russell and later by Pat Cummins to beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 18 runs to go top of the table with six points. After the match, Dhoni touched on the positives of the match, saying that returning to Ruturaj Gaikwad’s form bodes well for the team.
Gaikwad, who scored three consecutive half-centuries in the second half of last year’s IPL, had just three unbeaten first matches this season, scoring 5, 5 and 10. However, he was supported by Dhoni and management the team to have another game and the batter did not disappoint.
Gaikwad, opening the batting, scored 65 off 42 balls, striking out six fours and four sixes. He managed 115 runs with senior pro Faf du Plessis, who scored at the top with an unbeaten 95 but Gaikwad’s pubs topped the order that set the tone for CSK’s massive 220/3 total. Dhoni revealed the moment he knew that despite a few low scores, Gaikwad was mentally strong, saying that his reaction was all he needed to give him the goal for another game.
“Rutu is someone who has shown his class in the last IPL. You always need to assess where he is mentally. Once when he was vigilant, I asked him how you feel today. When you ask a question like that , you wait for the responses, you will see what is in his eyes. There were enough in his responses to suggest he was not rosy, “Dhoni said of the young Gaikwad during the presentation ceremony after the game.
Dhoni reflected on the fight and the outcome, saying that while CSK had won a good total, it was important to respect where it was due. Regarding the rate at which Andre Russell and Pat Cummins scored runs, Dhoni explained that from a certain stage in the batting, his role was limited and the fight was mainly between KKR batsmen and his bowlers.
“From the 16th onwards, the fight was between the fast bowler and the batter. You can’t do too much. Can’t put different pitches. It’s all about you against me. The side that has one is a side that has But if they had had more wickets, they could have been different, seen enough in cricket, always liked to be humble. There’s no good reason if you scored, the opposition can’t score, “added Dhoni.
“My lines to the players were that we got good runs on the board but let’s be humble. You don’t want to take too many early wickets. Big hitters coming in, 200 runs, just one way that they will play. Not much you can do. The only option was Jadeja. It was turning, it was a bit dry. The batting has been really good. “