IPL 2021: ‘The First Six Balls I Played Could Cost Us Another Match’ – MS Dhoni At His Candid Best
Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni conceded that he struggled in the first half of his innings against Rajasthan Royals, saying his struggles in his first six balls could cost them in another game. CSK posted 188 for 9 and eventually won by 45 runs, but the captain was candid in self assessment. Dhoni scored only 1 run in his first six balls before eventually managing 18 off 17.
“Glad we scored 180, I thought we could have got a few more. This was one of the games where the first six balls I played could have cost us in another game. We have to be mindful of that and score as much as possible,” he said at the post match presentation.
When asked what has changed about CSK this season compared to last, Dhoni said:
“A lot has changed over the years, the way he have prepared and turned up. Right from the start we kept a very good atmosphere. A lot of the bowlers have been under the pump last year but this time they are enjoying bowling on these wickets where there is assistance.”
Dhoni, who is approaching 40, is still fit enough to dive around to save his wicket or take a catch. He said staying fit was something he could control, while performances couldn’t be.
“Getting old and being fit – those are two difficult things. When you’re playing you don’t want anyone to call you unfit. Nobody can guarantee performances, I was not guaranteeing performances when I was 24, I can’t guarantee when I’m 40. But at least if people can’t point fingers and say I’m unfit, that’s a positive for me. I have to keep up with youngers guys, they run a lot, but it’s always challenging.”
Talking about the bowling, Dhoni lauded Sam Curran’s spell with the new ball.
“I always look at what’s the best at that point of time. I felt Sam bowled really well and with Deepak, there was a miscalculation; I think he tried the knuckle ball too much, the wicket wasn’t stopping as much.
“I felt that a good start with the ball was important, you don’t want the opposition to get off to flier because then you won’t know how much dew is there.”
One of the turning points of the match was Jos Buttler’s wicket, bowled by Ravindra Jadeja. Prior to the dismissal, Jadeja had been hit for a six, after which the ball was changed. The fresher ball was dry, and Dhoni could be heard telling Jadeja that it would turn.
That’s exactly what happened as Buttler was bowled.
“Even the wet ball was spinning a bit, I don’t really mind Jos playing the reverse sweep on a pitch that’s turning a bit. But a shot over mid wicket off the backfoot is an easy shot. If the wet ball was turning, chances of the dry one turning is more.
“It’s important to have that sixth bowler, you don’t need one if you have five strong bowlers but it always helps and it was stopping a bit for spinners. Good to have Moeen. There was slightly less dew than the usual.”