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Despite putting 220 on the board, MS Dhoni reminded his players to be humble on the field.
Chennai Super Kings survived quite a few nervy moments on Wednesday night as they eked out an 18-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in their IPL match. However, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that his job had in fact become “quite easy” towards the end of the game as the battle was mainly between the fast bowlers and the big hitters.
Batting first, CSK posted a score of 220/3 after being asked to bat and then reduced KKR to 31/5. Andrew Russell (54) and Pat Cummins (66 not out) went on a six-hitting spree to keep KKR in the hunt before being bowled out for 202 in 19.1 overs.
“Quite easy in a game like this. From the 16th over onwards the contest was between the fast bowler and the batsman. You can’t do too much. Can’t put a different field. It’s about you vs me. The side that has won is a side that has executed slightly better,” Dhoni said at the post-match presentation.
“You don’t want to take too many early wickets. Big hitters coming in, 200 runs, there’s only one way they’ll play. Not much you can do. The only option was Jadeja. It was turning, was a bit dry.”
“If they would’ve had more wickets, could’ve been different. Have seen enough in cricket, always like to be humble. There’s no good reason if you have scored, the opposition can’t score.
“My lines to the players was that we have got good runs on the board but let’s be humble.”
Complementing youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad for coming good with the willow, Dhoni said, “The batting has been really good. Rutu is somebody who has shown his class in the last IPL. You always need to assess where he is mentally. Once when he was off guard, I just asked him how are you feeling today.”
“When you put a question like that, you wait for the reactions, you see what’s in his eyes. There was enough in his reactions to suggest he wasn’t rattled. That’s what I’ve been doing all my life (applying psychology) but in a good way.”
Losing skipper Eoin Morgan said he didn’t think his team had a chance after they were reduced to 31 for five in 5.2 overs.
“It’s (pulse) quite high at the moment. What a hell of a game of cricket. Certainly from the position we were in after our powerplay, we probably didn’t think we’d get as close as we did,” he said.
“But Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik really did put a partnership together, once you do that taking advantage of the conditions here, it’s very difficult to stop.