Chennai Super Kings (CSK) fell 17 runs short of the target set by Steve Smith-led Rajasthan Royals (RR) as they suffered their first defeat of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on Tuesday, September 22.
Batting first, the Royals piled up a mammoth total of 216/7, courtesy a stellar half-century from Sanju Samson and Steve Smith.
Chasing the target, CSK didn’t have the best of the start as their openers, Shane Watson and Murali Vijay, struggled to get going in the initial overs. Watson, however, compensated after launching four towering sixes before falling prey to Rahul Tewatia.
Faf du Plessis, who scored 72 runs off just 37 balls, tried his best to keep the chase alive, but the lack of support from the other end didn’t help his cause.
Even skipper MS Dhoni lamented that a rusty start in the powerplay derailed CSK’s run-chase.
“With 217 on the board, we needed a very good start which was not the case. Steve and Samson batted very well. Need to give credit to their bowlers,” said Dhoni in the post-match presentation.
Why MS Dhoni batted at No. 7?
Dhoni coming to bat at a lowly No. 7 position became a source of bafflement for the fans. The Ranchi-lad promoted Kedhar Jadhav and Sam Curran when the Super Kings were 77/3 in the ninth over.
‘Captain Cool’ explained that he hasn’t batted for a long time and thus pinned his hopes on the likes of Curran and Jadhav.
“I haven’t batted for a long time. 14-day quarantine doesn’t help (why he isn’t batting higher). Also wanted to try different things, give opportunities to Sam. Have the opportunity to try different things.”
“If it doesn’t work, you can always go back to your strengths. Faf adapted very well. Something the batsmen will do, neglect square leg and go more towards long-on and long-off,” concluded Dhoni.