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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Why MS Dhoni is unstoppable, Chennai Super Kings teammate Faf du Plessis explains

MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were clinical right through the match, beating bottom-placed Delhi Daredevils in the 2018 Indian Premier league (IPL 2018) on Monday.

cricket Updated: May 01, 2018 14:31 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Pune
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni hits a boundary during the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL 2018) match against Delhi Daredevils in Pune on Monday.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni hits a boundary during the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL 2018) match against Delhi Daredevils in Pune on Monday. (PTI)

At 130 for three in the match against Delhi Daredevils on Monday, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were in similar position as their last game against Mumbai Indians. Like Saturday’s game, the launchpad was set for MS Dhoni to go for the kill. (CSK vs DD highlights)

This time the result was different. While against Mumbai Dhoni’s big push was stifled, on Monday -- with Ambati Rayudu (41) for company -- Dhoni played another gem of an innings help Super Kings post 211, the fourth highest total of the season. (CSK vs DD Scorecard)

His 22-ball 51, laced with two boundaries and five sixes, earned high praise from his teammate, South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis. (IPL points table)

“He is in really good form at the moment and it’s extremely tough to bowl to him when he is form like that because he has got such a big arch and if you want to bowl wide he can still hit you to leg side,” said Du Plessis.

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“So he has got lot of options so it make life difficult for bowler to plan and bowl to him and even a captain where they want to put the field because he can hit any ball to wherever he wants to,” said Du Plessis after Super Kings recorded a 13-run win over the Daredevils.

It was Dhoni’s third fifty of the season which took his tally to 286 runs after eight matches with a strike rate of 169.23 which is his best since IPL’s inception in 2008 and way above his career strike rate of 138.73.

Couple of days ago Super Kings bowling consultant Eric Simons had high praise for Dhoni. “He senses where the game changes. It’s more about him understanding where the game is going and allowing his strengths to move with it. So his evolution is more about how he understands the game than him trying to be technically different,” explained Simons.

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Du Plessis was full of praise for Ambatti Rayudu, who played another useful knock and now is the Orange Cap holder with 370 runs from eight matches.

“The flexibility that Rayudu has had has really impressed me. I’ve really enjoyed him bat this IPL. The ability to come in and score boundaries from the first ball is a very difficult skill, not a lot of people can do that.”

He added: “With Suresh (Raina) at three and him (Rayudu) at four and if we get off to a solid start at the top, two then can just come in and player their natural game which is very dangerous for the opposition. So, We are fortunate that we have got lot of options in our batting unit.”

First Published: May 01, 2018 08:32 IST