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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

IPL 2019 Qualifier 2, CSK vs DC: MS Dhoni ready to go ‘round the wicket’ to reach final

Mumbai Indians, the other three-time champions in IPL, have been a puzzle to MS Dhoni and Co this season, after losing at MA Chidambaram Stadium, their fortress, for the second time this season.

cricket Updated: May 09, 2019 14:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Chennai: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni with teammates.
Chennai: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni with teammates.(PTI)
         

Three defeats against the same opposition in a season are unprecedented for Chennai Super Kings, the reigning Indian Premier League champions seeking to win a fourth time.

Mumbai Indians, the other three-time champions in IPL, have been a puzzle to MS Dhoni and Co this season, after losing at MA Chidambaram Stadium, their fortress, for the second time this season.

The setback in Tuesday’s Qualifier 1, which Mumbai won by six wickets on a turning track, means CSK will have to take a longer route if they are to enter the final. They will have to win Qualifier 2, against Sunrisers Hyderabad or Delhi Capitals.

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“It was an off-game for us and it’s bad to have this kind of a game at this stage of the tournament. Still, the good thing is you’re top two so you get another chance. So, rather than going over the wicket, now you have to go round the wicket. The journey becomes slightly long,” Dhoni said.

CSK’s batting line-up struggled to negate the threat posed by the pitch, which was exploited to the hilt by MI spinners. They kept the hosts in check and restricted them to 131 runs, which MI surpassed with nine balls to spare.

‘Use experience more’

Dhoni urged his colleagues to use their experience in the coming matches. “When you have experienced players in the side, that’s what you bank on them. You’re not banking on them for extraordinary fielding. It’s just that they have to use their experience slightly more. Hopefully we’ll crack the code,” he said.

“They’re the best we’ve got. On and off, they’ve done well. When they bat, they’ve done well. But on and off, in some game, they’ve pulled out a shot that’s really not on in that particular game, or in that situation, or in that condition.”

CSK coach Stephen Fleming urged his batsmen to have a re-look at the slow starts, after CSK managed only 32 in the powerplay overs, losing three wickets.

“That’s the problem we find. We are far behind in the powerplays. We are doing things right from overs six to 20; the run rate today was (around) 7, and 10 (in the last six overs). We’re getting the right runs there, we are just finding ourselves behind in the powerplays,” he said.

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“You run a risk if we over-attacked in the middle overs in those conditions; you can find yourself bowled out for 100. So, you’ve got to have an element of safety. By the time you get that it’s about 14 overs. From there, we were able to go at 10 an over which got us through to a competitive score.

“But we need to have more balance in the first six - around 40 would be nice. That may get you to 150-160, which can be match-winning.”

With Friday’s game a virtual semifinal, Fleming said it is not the right time to make changes to the batting line-up. “If you make a change now and change the tactics, it just means you haven’t had the right discussions leading up to this point,” he added.