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IPL 2018: MS Dhoni feels better ahead of Rajasthan Royals game

MS Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings captain, is nursing a back injury but he did bat at the nets for a while ahead of the Indian Premier league (IPL) 2018 match against Rajasthan Royals

cricket Updated: Apr 19, 2018 22:24 IST
Bihan Sengupta
MS Dhoni scored 79 off 44 balls for Chennai Super Kings in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 match against Kings XI Punjab.
MS Dhoni scored 79 off 44 balls for Chennai Super Kings in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 match against Kings XI Punjab.(BCCI)

It has been quite a rollercoaster journey for Chennai Super Kings so far. Although they have two wins and one loss under their belt, they’re well aware that all three results could have tilted either way. All the three games have dragged on to the last over with CSK being unlucky only in the last match against Kings XI Punjab.

And according to Mike Hussey, the batting coach of Chennai Super Kings, while all three have been thrilling encounters, the rise in the par score with every passing game is a factor why things are not smooth while chasing down tall totals.

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“Strategically speaking, if you are chasing a big score, you still have to get off to a relatively fast start but you will kill yourself if you lose too many wickets early and probably through those middle overs, so the plan has always been to get to a positive start but keep wickets in hands as well for the last sort of onslaught,” he said. “All the games have been pretty exciting so far and I feel that the par score just seems to be raising a little bit, it’s making it challenging for the chasers for sure.”

Skipper MS Dhoni had hit a cracking 44-ball 79 in their last game against Kings XI Punjab but it went in vain as CSK fell short by four runs. He’s a concern for Friday’s game though, given that he’s nursing a back injury but did bat at the nets for a while. Also present at the nets was Suresh Raina, who could be seen working with the physio near the boundary. Raina had injured his calf during CSK’s match against Kolkata Knight Riders and subsequently ruled out for two games.

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“I spoke to MS quickly on the bus; I asked him how he’s feeling and he said he is feeling better. So we are optimistic. He is at the training today. Much of the same with Raina, (we’re) confident. But he will have to go through training today, and then see how he is feeling,” Hussey said of the experienced duo. “We are feeling pretty confident with both of them, but we will have to see how to them through training.”

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It’s a new beginning for CSK given their home games have been shifted to Pune but the former Australian batsman stated that it wasn’t too much of a concern for his side. “We have just tried to come here with a positive attitude, positive mentality. I guess the bonus and positive for us is that quite a few members of the squad were part of the team that played here for the last two years. So they understand the conditions reasonably well and have a good rapport with people working here,” he added.