Pollard rubbishes MS Dhoni's blitzkrieg vs Hardik Pandya, says 'anyone could have...' in epic 'Kohli, Rohit' remark | Crickit

Pollard rubbishes MS Dhoni's blitzkrieg vs Hardik Pandya, says 'anyone could have...' in epic 'Kohli, Rohit' remark

Apr 15, 2024 12:58 PM IST

Kieron Pollard felt MS Dhoni's final over blitz against Hardik Pandya wasn't the difference as Mumbai Indians crashed to a defeat against Chennai Super Kings.

Chennai Super Kings romped to a crucial 20-run victory against arch-rivals Mumbai Indians in their IPL 2024 fixture, at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday. It was an entertaining thriller as CSK outplayed MI in a blockbuster clash and MS Dhoni's unbeaten knock proved to be the decider.

Kieron Pollard defended Hardik Pandya after he was destroyed by MS Dhoni.
Kieron Pollard defended Hardik Pandya after he was destroyed by MS Dhoni.

CSK were meandering at 180/3 in 19 overs in the first innings and MI captain Hardik Pandya decided to bowl the final over. Having conceded 17 runs in two overs, with a wicket, it looked like a good decision by the all-rounder. He began the over with a wide, and then got slammed by Daryl MItchell for a four, followed by another wide. Then, Pandya sent a full toss which Mitchell lofted straight to long-on for a simple catch.

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In stepped Dhoni, with CSK at 186/4, and the former captain knew he needed to produce something special. Prior to the match, fans and experts were begging Ruturaj Gaikwad to send Dhoni earlier to bat, and their wishes came true.

First, he smoked Pandya for a six over long-off and then made it back-to-back with another one over wide long-on, as the Wankhede crowd went berserk. In the fifth delivery, Pandya sent a full toss on his pads and it was glanced over deep square leg for a hat-trick of sixes as CSK crossed 200. The 42-year-old wrapped up the innings with a double as CSK posted 206/4 in 20 overs.

He remained unbeaten on 20* off four balls, alongwith Shuvam Dube, who hammered 66* off 38 balls. When Dhoni arrived, he would have been forgiven for giving the strike to Dube, who was destroying MI's bowlers. But he showed his grit and experience, with a match-winning knock as CSK ended up winning by 20 runs.

Speaking after the match in the post-match press conference, MI batting coach Kieron Pollard rushed to Pandya's defence and felt that Dhoni's knock wasn't the difference in the game.

"Which player, it doesn't matter MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya. You have plans on how you want to bowl to them, you go back and see if you executed them or not. But then again, MS is world class. For years and years, we see him walking onto the stadiums. We are all in awe of what he has accomplished. So again, the scoreline 22 runs, that is the difference. Cricket is much more than what we see at the end. I think that is where we as individuals need to educate ourselves," he said.

"Yes, he hit three sixes. 20-odd runs in the last over. But anyone could have gone for 20 runs in the last over. So for us, it's much deeper than that," he added.

Chasing 207, MI could only reach 186/6 in 20 overs, despite an unbeaten ton from former Rohit Sharma. MI are now eighth in the IPL 2024 points table, with four points in six games. Meanwhile, CSK are third in the standings with eight points in six fixtures.

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