After Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated Mumbai Indians (MI) by 20 runs and dethroned Delhi Capitals to occupy the top spot in the IPL 2021 points table on Sunday, team's captain MS Dhoni hailed his boys for the spirited performance. Opting to bat first, CSK were once reeling at 24/4 in 6 overs.
But young opener Ruturaj Gaikwad stood ground and played proper cricketing shots to smash an unbeaten 88 runs off 58 balls. The 24-year-old partnered for 81 runs with Ravindra Jajdeja and brought back Yellow Army's derailed innings on track. Later, he went berserk alongside Dwayne Bravo to help the 3-time champions post 156/6 in 20 overs.
In the post-match presentation ceremony MS Dhoni said reaching the total was nothing but "tremendous" from the team. Dhoni, who could manage only 3 runs in the match, reckoned that the wicket was two-paced and slow in the beginning.
"I think at 30/4, you want to get something respectable on the board and Ruturaj and Bravo got us more than what we expected. We had to bat exceptionally to get to 140, but to get to 160 was tremendous. The wicket was slightly two-paced and slow to start off with. Most of them got out to the slowness," Dhoni said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
"If you come later and you want to go hard and that's why we lost wickets. I would have tried to get into the eighth or ninth over and then take it from there. You always think you could have gone harder earlier, but with wickets down, it was a risk. There's always a catch, one batter played till the end and the others contributed well. It's a give and take, you need to see how many fast bowlers have in the armoury and how much time they take to bowl their overs. If a fast bowler has a long run-up or wastes a lot of time, it is tough for the captains. It depends on the situation," he added.
"Rayudu was smiling, so he hasn't broken his arm. He has four days now and that should help him," he said.
One of my top innings till now: Gaikwad
Man of the Match Ruturaj admitted that there was pressure on him after the departure of senior players early in the innings. He added that backing from MS Dhoni, CSK management and the white-ball to Sri Lanka of which he was a part of, came in handy during his classy 88* - highest by a CSK batsman against MI.
"Obviously one of my top innings till now. With the pressure of early wickets and with the seniors in the dressing room, I just had to grind and get the team to 130, 140 and then 150 was possible. When Mahi bhai is around and with the CSK management, once they back you, you don't have to think much. The SL tour and the preparation coming here did help too. Initially the ball was seaming and swinging so I had to take my chance against the spinners. Jaddu just came in and I had to take my chance and it came off well," Gaikwad said.