'I'm sure Sam would want to talk to MS about tonight's innings': Buttler notices shades of Dhoni in Curran's knock
MS Dhoni made a career out of finishing matches for India and Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, and on Sunday, he would have been happy seeing one his CSK teammates almost pull off a heist for the ages. Sam Curran's fighting innings of 95 not out off 82 balls nearly saw England home, before three tight overs in the end by India's fast bowlers allowed the home team to escape with a narrow seven-run win.
Curran, who joined CSK ahead of last year's IPL, seemingly has learnt a lot watching Dhoni operate from close quarters, something which England captain Jos Buttler acknowledged after the end of the match. Buttler, in fact, saw shades of Dhoni in Curran's knock and is confident that the young England all-rounder will have a word with his skipper when the two join the CSK camp ahead of IPL 2021.
"I'm sure Sam would want to talk to MS about tonight's innings. There were shades of the way that he (MS Dhoni) would have liked to take the game down if he was in that situation. He's a great person for Sam to have a conversation with when he meets up MS (in the IPL)," Buttler said during the post-match conference.
"We know what an amazing cricketer, finisher MS Dhoni is. A brilliant learning curve for all our players to share dressing rooms with guys like MS’ stature in the game. I’m very excited for them."
Two days after England successfully gunned down 337 runs with 39 balls to spare, it seemed as if they would be chasing an even bigger target given how Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya were batting at one stage, with India's run-rate hovering over the 7.5 run margin, but the dismissal of both batsmen dented their chances of putting up a total near 350, and the No. 2-ranked team in the world had to settle for 329. Buttler revealed England backed themselves to chase down the target but losing too many wickets in the middle overs made the task difficult.
"We were happy to chase that score. We thought that was a manageable score, but we lost wickets at regular intervals and never got those partnerships together. Never thought run-rate would be a big issue but we lost wickets," Buttler said.
"Small, small things could have done better. I think with the ball we were not quite as disciplined as we have been early on. We gave them a few too many easy boundary balls. They didn’t have to work too hard for those boundaries, but then we pegged back pretty well with spinners picking up those wickets."