Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni lavished praise on ‘game-changer’ Ravindra Jadeja and claimed that the southpaw’s batting has grown leaps and bounds across the past few years. CSK successfully defended a total of 191, and Dhoni stressed that his side ended up getting 25 runs above par.
IPL 2020 was witness to a brand new, sensational avatar of Ravindra Jadeja the batsman, with him striking at 171, but somehow, remarkably, the southpaw has improved on those numbers this time around. In 3 innings this season, Jadeja has struck 102 runs at an SR of 192.45 and today, arguably, the left-hander played the best innings of his IPL career.
Walking in at 111/3, Jadeja struck a 28-ball 62, which included a 37-run over, to turn the tide in CSK’s favour and deflate a tired-looking RCB unit. The onslaught eventually proved to be enough, and in the post-match presentation, skipper MS Dhoni reserved special praise for Jadeja the batsman. Dhoni expressed delight over Jadeja’s evolution as a batter and insisted that the 32-year-old has now earned the right to spend more time at the crease.
“Jaddu is somebody who can change the game on his own. In the last few years we've seen significant change in batting and it's worth it to give him that extra bit of time, extra deliveries,” Dhoni said in the post-match presentation.
“The bowlers have found it difficult to contain left-handers, and that helps as well.”
The game today was the first day-game at the Wankhede all season, and thus no one quite knew if 191 would be enough, but eventually, CSK ended up registering a handsome 69-run win. Dhoni said that Jadeja’s onslaught helped CSK rack up 25 extra runs, as he felt that 165 would have been par on the wicket.
“You can't really predict the quantum of victory. There's no control to how many runs or wickets. When we started we had the conversation about whether to bat or bowl. It's a good wicket but I felt the spinners had something up their sleeves and I felt that extra few runs Jadeja made helped.
“165 would have been par, and once you get 25 extra the opposition has to come a little harder. You cannot make your strategy on the assumption of what dew will do - frankly, some games have been high scoring, some have been low scoring. You have to assess every game and today we made the right decision to bat.”
CSK finished seventh last season, but after five games this season they sit mighty atop, boasting of a better NRR than any other side. When asked about the secret of the side’s success, Dhoni claimed that there has been no change, and stressed that the focus has been to ‘trust the process’.
“We're not doing anything drastically different from what we did last year. Me and Fleming, we keep saying that we focus on the process. You gain more respect if you keep following your path when you're under pressure. I think that is something that gave a lot of confidence to the players. Credit to the players. Everybody would have felt the pressure in the first game because it was a lean season.”
CSK will now shift base to Delhi, where they will play their first game on April 28 versus the Sunrisers.