Mahendra Singh Dhoni rolled back the years with a thunderous finish to the Qualifier 1 against Delhi Capitals. Chennai Super Kings were in a spot of bother going into the final over after the set batters Ruturaj Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa had lost their wickets. Never shying away from the responsibility, up stepped MS Dhoni and got the job done as he has so many times before in his legendary career.
The talismanic CSK captain smashed 18 runs off just six deliveries which included three boundaries and a six and sealed the game in his side’s favour. Dhoni guided Chennai Super Kings to yet another IPL 2021 final.
“My innings was a crucial one. Delhi has a very good bowling attack. They exploited the conditions well, so we knew it would be tough. I’ve not done a lot in the tournament, so wanted to look for the ball and see what the bowler can do. I was batting well in the nets. But wasn’t thinking too much, if you think too much while batting then you mess your plans up,” said Dhoni in the post-match presentation ceremony.
The 40-year-old has managed just 114 runs in 15 matches this season at an average of 16.28. He has had a batting strike rate of 106.54. Dhoni’s lack of form had even cost his team a couple of matches but he got back to his very best and managed to silence his detractors with yet another spectacular match-winning innings last night.
When Dhoni walked out to bat, CSK needed 24 off 11. He quickly helped the equation by smacking a wonderful six. He then hit three boundaries to take his team past the finishing line. After the game, CSK head coach revealed that there was a lot of discussion in the Chennai Super Kings camp, including the decision to send Dhoni ahead of Jadeja.
“There was a lot of chat. We spoke more in those 20 overs than we have for a long time. There was a lot of technical discussion and maneuvering to try and work out how this was going to unfold. When the captain got looked in his eyes, he said ‘I’ll go’; it’s been well-documented the times that he has done that. Today was one of those. I ain’t holding him back, and we saw the result of that,” Fleming said while giving the details of the CSK dugout interaction.