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IPL 2019 | We Don't Want to Play on Wickets Like These: Dhoni

CSK restricted KKR to 108 at the Chepauk on Tuesday, before reaching the target in the 18th over. But once again, the Chennai surface once again was the talking point as batsmen from both teams found the going extremely challenging. Dhoni reiterated that such surfaces were not ideal for their side.

Cricketnext Staff |April 10, 2019, 11:38 AM IST
IPL 2019 | We Don't Want to Play on Wickets Like These: Dhoni

Despite winning his fourth straight match at the venue on Tuesday night against Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni remains unhappy with the playing surface on offer at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, saying his team don’t want to play on “wickets like these” where spin dominates in low-scoring encounters.

CSK restricted KKR to 108 at the Chepauk on Tuesday, before reaching the target in the 18th over. But once again, the Chennai surface was the talking point as batsmen from both teams found the going extremely difficult. Dhoni reiterated that such surfaces were not ideal for their side.

"It became like the first game (against Royal Challengers Bangalore). We kept cribbing about the track but we ended up winning the game," Dhoni said about the track after the match.

"Losing (Dwayne) Bravo, I think it is slightly tough for us to get the combination right because we are missing the all-rounder. David (Willey) is not here, so it can't be a straight swap. If we look at all that it looks like a good wicket for us. I don't think we want to play on wickets like these because it becomes too low-scoring and it becomes difficult for the batters to keep going. Also, what happens is it slightly becomes more difficult if you are batting first. As the dew comes in, it slightly becomes easy in the second half.

"Overall, the bowling unit becomes good but once we play on wickets which are on the flatter side, the boundaries are small, we have to see what is the best combination to play for us. But, as of now on wickets like these we can manage. Hopefully, Bravo gets fit soon and whenever he is available, we can play slightly more with our playing eleven."

Pacer Deepak Chahar also agreed with his captain on the Chennai pitch, saying the team needs a better surface at home despite winning all their games at the Chepauk Stadium so far.

"I'm happy I performed well, but obviously we're looking for a better wicket," Chahar said.

"Nobody wants this type of a wicket. It is because of the soil and heat. It's too hot here and the pitch curators are doing their best job to give us a good track. But, at the end of the day you can't help it.”

Chahar said he had received a lot of messages after Dhoni apparently got angry at him for bowling two waist-high full tosses in the final stages of the game against Kings XI Punjab on April 6.

"I have got thousands of messages asking the same question. I think he (Dhoni) was angry. If I were the captain I would have also got angry. 39 runs suddenly became 31 runs off 12 balls. He was angry on the selection of the ball. The selection of the ball was not good," he said with a smile.

Asked about getting the opportunity to bowl in powerplays, the seamer said he was more confident now after having performed well in last year's IPL and played for India.

"I have been bowling in the powerplays only. (Dwayne) Bravo got injured, so we didn't have someone to bowl at the death overs. I was prepared for it. This time in last two matches I have got the opportunity," he said.

"I was preparing for it. Last year we played a lot of matches in Pune where the conditions were helpful for fast bowling. There was seam and swing. This year we knew that we will be playing a lot of matches in Chennai, I practised in that sense. I am a better bowler from last year.

"At this level you need confidence. Last year's performance gave me a lot of confidence. Playing for India also helped," Chahar added.

Meanwhile, KKR leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who took a wicket and two catches including a splendid one running backwards to dismiss Suresh Raina, said the visitors didn't misread the wicket.

He said the batsmen played too many shots at the start, which hurt them badly.

"It's not that we misread the wicket but yes, we played too many shots at the start. We lost three extra wickets in the powerplay. That's how it goes in the shorter format. It happens. Sometimes, the shot that went straight to the fielder would have gone in the gap," Chawla said in defence of the team's batsmen.

"A total of 135-140 would have been ideal on this wicket. When Nitish (Rana) played that shot, it went to the fielder. When Robin (Uthappa) played the ball, he toed it and it went to the fielder. It just happens," he added.

Chawla said that it was important for the team to put the loss behind and focus on the upcoming games.

"In this tournament, it's important that if you win, you forget it quickly and even if you lose, you forget it quickly," he said.

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