In the post-match presentation ceremony, Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni lamented his side not being able to reach the 150-run mark. According to him, a score of 150 would’ve been easily defendable on the wicket. Instead, CSK managed 136 runs inside their 20 overs.
Sent to bat first, CSK’s top order batters Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, and Moeen Ali had a rare collective off day and failed to make any sort of meaningful impact. The three-time IPL champs were four wickets down inside nine overs before a 64-ball-60-run partnership between Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni steadied the ship. Rayudu remained not out on 55 while Dhoni scored 18 off 27.
“We were looking to get closer to 150. After we lost a few wickets, around the 15-16th over mark, the platform was nice. We failed to accelerate.
“I thought it was a tough pitch and two-paced. Anything close to 150 would’ve been a good score. It’s not like it slowed down drastically. You can’t just play your shots. That’s what the Delhi batters also faced,” said MS Dhoni in the post-match interview.
CSK’s captain and talisman Dhoni attracted a lot of criticism for his slow batting approach once again. Not only did his strike rate hurt the team but his 27-ball 18 before getting dismissed also made sure that Ravindra Jadeja, who has been providing CSK with match-winning late flourishes in recent games, faced just two deliveries on the night. That could’ve been the late blast to 150 they were hoping for.
Dhoni failed to hit a single boundary on the night and this was the fourth time in his IPL career where he faced over 20 deliveries without hitting a single boundary. It was also his slowest innings of 25 balls or more in the IPL.
CSK head coach Stephen Fleming defended Dhoni and he pointed out that the CSK captain wasn’t the only batter to struggle in the game. The conditions were difficult to bat on and therefore, both sides didn’t play up to the mark.
“MS Dhoni wasn’t the only one who struggled. It was a difficult day for stroke-play. I think it was a tough wicket to score big on in terms of the big shots. Both teams struggled with that towards the end of the innings. Sometimes you set your sights too high, and probably we were only 10-15 runs short of having a match-winning score,” concluded Fleming.