Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, credited the positive intent of his openers after his side’s 10-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on Sunday.
Chasing 179 to win, Shane Watson (83) and Faf du Plessis (87) stitched together a match-winning 181-run partnership to take their team over the finish line with 14 balls to spare. Watson and Du Plessis also brought up the highest-ever opening partnership for CSK in the history of the lucrative league.
After the match, Dhoni revealed that Watson was good in the nets, and they were just waiting for him to replicate the same in a game. The Ranchi-lad also heaped praises on Du Plessis stating that the former South Africa captain is a sheet anchor for CSK.
“Did the small things right. Believed in the process. Were looking for the kind of start today. That’s where experience counts. It’s not about being more aggressive. Watson was looking good in the nets. But what you want is to replicate that. It was just a matter of time that he gets going. Faf is like a sheet anchor for us. He can always confuse the bowlers with shots like the lap shot. They compliment each other well.”
Dhoni further admired CSK coach Stephen Fleming, saying the former New Zealander doesn’t get the appreciation that he deserves.
“Fleming doesn’t get the kind of recognition he should. The good thing between us is that we decide each and everything between us. It’s not like we don’t have debates over selections. But it stays between us.”
Last but not least, MSD appreciated the way his bowlers bowled against KXIP. Dhoni reckoned that they bowled according to the set plans which helped the team eventually.
“Felt the bowlers did a very good job. Felt we bowled according to what our plan was. Momentum with the right kind of shots – I felt Watto and Faf backed themselves to play the shots they’re known for. It was very good to watch them out there.”
“Hard to be on losing side for so many games” – KL Rahul after the loss
KXIP suffered its fourth defeat in five matches and slipped to the bottom of the standings with just two points. KXIP skipper KL Rahul, who scored 63 runs to guide his team to post 178/4 on the scoreboard, remarked that it’s not easy to be on the losing side for so many games.
“It’s hard being on the losing side for so many games on the trot. We need to come back harder and better. There’s no rocket science where we are going wrong; it’s the execution.”
Rahul articulated that wickets of Watson and Du Plessis were crucial, and they knew they were in trouble when the bowlers didn’t get success to remove either of the batters.
“When we started batting, the wicket did stop a bit, and when the spinners came in, there was some grip and turn. If we don’t get wickets of the class of Watson and du Plessis, we are in trouble. It’s a bit hard to attack as a captain when they are going at 10 runs an over in the powerplay.”
Despite the consecutive defeats, Rahul believed that his team has professional players and they have all the capability to bounce back in the tournament.
“They are all professional players, so we can expect them to come back better. We need to keep training harder, practising and try to win the key moments in the game. Hopefully, we’ll be able to bounce back.”