Stephen Fleming has stated that MS Dhoni himself decided to bat ahead of Ravindra Jadeja against Delhi Capitals on Sunday in Qualifier 1. The CSK captain smashed an unbeaten 18 runs off 6 balls with three boundaries and a maximum to guide the Chennai-based franchise into their ninth IPL final.
Chasing 173 for the win, Chennai Super Kings were off to a poor start as they lost in-form Faf du Plessis (1) early in the innings. But, Robin Uthappa (63) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (70) together stitched up a 110-run stand for the second wicket which helped CSK to reach 113/2 before the former departed in the 14th over. The Chennai-based franchise lost the wickets of Ambati Rayudu (1) and Gaikwad within a space of seven balls.
MS Dhoni, who walked out to bat after the dismissal of Gaikwad, started off well as he smashed a six off Avesh Khan off his second ball. The CSK captain, who is known for finishing skills, struck three boundaries off the last over bowled by Tom Curran and sealed his team's spot in IPL 2021 final. The former Indian captain was lauded by fans and experts for his brilliant knock and his wise decision to step ahead of in-form Ravindra Jadeja.
Meanwhile, Chennai Super Kings head coach, Stephen Fleming stated that it was Dhoni’s decision to bat ahead of Jadeja, and the team got the best result.
"There was a lot of chat. We spoke more in those 20 overs than we have for a long time. There was a lot of technical discussion and maneuvering to try and work out how this was going to unfold. When the captain got looked in his eyes, he said 'I'll go'. It's been well-documented the times that he has done that. Today was one of those. I ain't holding him back, and we saw the result of that," Fleming said during the post-match presser.
The Chennai Super Kings will meet the winners of Qualifier 2 in the IPL 2021 final on Friday, October 15 in Dubai.