Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni described their 20-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad as ‘close to a perfect’ game, hailing the purpose and intent shown by their batsmen.
CSK scored 167 for 6 in 20 overs, with contributions from all nearly their batsmen. The bowlers then combined to keep SRH to 147 for 8 in 20 overs.
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“Ultimately what really matters is you getting two points," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation. “What T20s have shown is that there are a few games that don’t go your way and then there are some that go your way even when you haven’t earned it. Today I felt we did a very good job even in the batting. There was some purpose with the bat and the batsmen assessed the situation very well. With a total like 160, it all depends on the start you get in the first six overs. The fast bowlers did the job, the spinners came into play and it was one game that was as close to being perfect.
“It was a par score and I usually assess scores after the first six overs. If there are misfields in the first six overs then a par score becomes an under par score. A lot depended on the fast bowlers. I just told them to be expressive on the field and hit their areas.
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“There are some two paced balls, some swing and some don’t swing, some get extra bounce. What was needed was good execution of the plans and that was done by the fast bowlers."
Dhoni, who played 7 bowlers including three spinners in the XI, said that the pitches slowing up will help CSK. He also explained why the team went with an extra bowling option, saying it would have been unfair to play N Jagadeesan at No. 7 or 8.
“To an extent, yes," he said. “But we used an extra spinner because an Indian batter hasn’t done well for us. That’s why Sam Curran went up and it wasn’t fair on Jagadeesan as well to bat at seven or eight.
“Sam Curran is a complete cricketer for us. You need a seaming all-rounder, he plays the spinners well and he can give us those 15-45 runs. A good left armer is always good to have in the side. You keep wondering whether the ball would come in or leave the batsman. As the tournament progresses we’ll get more comfortable with the death bowling, which is why we kept Sam away from the death and Thakur and Bravo took over. We’ll get better. We need to think more about the process, the points table will take care of itself. We need to still see where the errors were in this game and what is important is to not brush anything under the carpet just because we won the game."
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