MS Dhoni, who sent Sam Curran to open the innings, has insisted that Sam Curran is a complete player for CSK, adding useful runs with the bat and picking up important wickets. He added that Indian batsmen haven’t done well for them, hence, they had played an extra spinner instead of a batsman.
Batting first, Chennai were off to their usual routine of not having a great start in the powerplay, finishing with 44/2 in the period. In an innovative move, Sam Curran, who scored 31 off 21 balls, was promoted up the order to open the innings along with Faf du Plessis, who was dismissed on a golden duck. Shane Watson was the top scorer for CSK with 38-ball 42, helping Chennai reach a respectable total of 167/6 along with Ambati Rayudu, who scored 34-ball 41. Sandeep Sharma was the pick of the bowlers, ending with the figures of 2/19 in 4 overs.
Chasing a target of 168, SRH didn’t get off to best of starts losing David Warner and Manish Pandey early. Kane Williamson did take the match till the end, with his 39-ball 57, but he kept losing partners at the other end. Finally, CSK won the match by 20 runs. Dwayne Bravo starred for them with the ball, taking 2 wickets for 25 runs in 3 overs.
MS Dhoni insisted that it was an almost perfect performance from his team and appreciated his bowlers, especially Sam Curran, who opened the innings - scoring 31 off 21 balls and took the important wicket of David Warner - ending with the figures of 1/18. He called Curran as the complete cricketer for them.
“Ultimately what really matters is you getting two points. What T20s have shown is that there are a few games that don't go your way and then there are some that go your way even when you haven't earned it. Today I felt we did a very good job even in the batting. There was some purpose with the bat and the batsmen assessed the situation very well. With a total like 160, it all depends on the start you get in the first six overs,” Dhoni said in the post-match presentation.
“The fast bowlers did the job, the spinners came into play and it was one game that was as close to being perfect. It was a par score and I usually assess scores after the first six overs. If there are misfields in the first six overs then a par score becomes an under-par score. A lot depended on the fast bowlers. I just told them to be expressive on the field and hit their areas. But we used an extra spinner because an Indian batter hasn't done well for us. That's why Sam Curran went up and it wasn't fair on Jagadeesan as well to bat at seven or eight. Sam Curran is a complete cricketer for us. You need a seaming all-rounder, he plays the spinners well and he can give us those 15-45 runs.”