'When you put a question like that, you see what's in his eyes': Dhoni reveals biggest positive following CSK's win

  • "You always need to assess where he is mentally. Once when he was off guard, I just asked him how are you feeling today," Dhoni said.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni plays a shot during match 15 of the Indian Premier League 2021 between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium Mumbai.(PTI)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni plays a shot during match 15 of the Indian Premier League 2021 between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium Mumbai.(PTI)
Updated on Apr 22, 2021 11:36 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

MS Dhoni was a relieved man after Chennai Super Kings survived a scare, first by Andre Russell and later by Pat Cummins to beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 18 runs to go top of the table with six points. After the match, Dhoni dwelled on the positives of the match, saying the return to form of Ruturaj Gaikwad bodes well for the team.

Gaikwad, who scored three consecutive half-centuries in the second half of last year's IPL had a few bland first three games this season, scoring 5, 5 and 10. However, he was backed by Dhoni and the team management to get another game and the batsman did not disappoint.

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Gaikwad, opening the batting, scored 65 off 42 balls, hitting six fours and four sixes. He put on 115 runs with senior pro Faf du Plessis, who top-scored with an unbeaten 95 but it was Gaikwad's innings at the top of the order which set the tone for CSK's huge total of 220/3. Dhoni revealed the moment he knew that despite a few low scores, Gaikwad was mentally strong, saying his reaction was all he needed to give him the nod for another game.

"Rutu is somebody who has shown his class in the last IPL. You always need to assess where he is mentally. Once when he was off guard, I just asked him how are you feeling today. When you put a question like that, you wait for the reactions, you see what's in his eyes. There was enough in his reactions to suggest he wasn't rattled," Dhoni said of the young Gaikwad during the post-match presentation ceremony.


Dhoni reflected on the match and the outcome, saying that even though CSK had gotten a good total, it was important to give respect where it was due. As for the rate at which Andre Russell and Pat Cummins were scoring runs, Dhoni explained how from a certain stage in the innings, his role was limited and that the battle majorly was between the KKR batsmen and his bowlers.

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"From the 16th over onwards, the contest was between the fast bowler and the batsman. You can't do too much. Can't put different fields. It's about you vs me. The side that has one is a side that has executed slightly better. But if they would've had more wickets, could've been different. Have seen enough in cricket, always like to be humble. There's no good reason if you have scored, the opposition can't score," Dhoni added.

"My lines to the players was that we have got good runs on the board but let's be humble. You don't want to take too many early wickets. Big hitters coming in, 200 runs, there's only one way they'll play. Not much you can do. The only option was Jadeja. It was turning, was a bit dry. The batting has been really good."

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Sunday, January 23, 2022