Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were going strong till the midway of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019, winning seven of their first eight matches. Their only loss was against Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Wankhede. MS Dhoni & Co. then lost to MI again in their return game at home which is quite unusual given CSK’s track record at the Chepauk.
CSK now have lost four games on the trot against MI and had last beaten them in the opening game of the IPL last year. In the previous eight encounters, CSK have lost to MI seven times.
In the first qualifier of IPL 2019 in Chennai on Tuesday, MI restricted CSK to 131 for 4, thanks to some tight bowling, including by Rahul Chahar who gave just 14 runs in his four overs and took two wickets. It was some brisk hitting from Ambati Rayudu (42 not out off 37) and Dhoni (37 not out off 29) that saw the home team reaching to a decent total after 20 overs.
Chasing 132 on a tricky surface, MI eventually won the game on the back of Suryakumar Yadav’s unbeaten 71 off 54 balls and marched into the final for the fifth time.
Ahead of the high-voltage clash, commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, who accompanied the two captains to the pitch for the toss, asked Dhoni about his team’s modest record (won 12, lost 16) against MI. Before the Qualifier 1, CSK had won only two out of their last six games while MI had lost only two in their last six.
It will be a mistake if you just respect only Mumbai Indians
The former Indian cricketer was curious to know if Dhoni’s team gives more respect to Rohit Sharma’s side than any other team since it has dominated the yellow army. In his reply, the ace wicketkeeper-batsman said: “It will be a mistake if we just respect Mumbai – most of the teams are all dangerous. Mumbai is a very balanced side and they have a squad that can do well in all conditions.”
“You try to break down the process into small things. We don’t think too much about the playoffs,” he said.