Relieved and ecstatic in equal measure, Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni lauded his team’s “close to perfect” show in the triumph over Sunrisers Hyderabad that infused fresh life into its faltering IPL campaign.
CSK pulled off a 20-run victory on Tuesday while defending 167 against Sunrisers with almost every player making a contribution. It was only their third win in eight games.
“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 batting,” said Dhoni after the match.
Before Tuesday’s game, Dhoni had likened his side to a sinking ship with too many holes to plug, listing batting as the main worry.
“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.
“The fast bowlers did the job, the spinners came into play and it was one game that was as close to being perfect,” he added.
One of the tactical changes was sending big-hitting all-rounder Sam Curran to open the innings and Dhoni said it made sense.
“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…We used an extra spinner because an Indian batter hasn’t done well for us.
“That’s why Curran went up and it wasn’t fair on (Narayan) Jagadeesan as well to bat at seven or eight.”
Dhoni quickly finished the quota of pacer Deepak Chahar, who bowled in tandem with Curran.
“There are some two paced balls, some swing and some don’t swing, some get extra bounce. What was needed was good execution of the plans and that was done by the fast bowlers.
“A good left-armer is always good to have in the side. You keep wondering whether the ball would come in or leave the batsman.
“As the tournament progresses we’ll get more comfortable with the death bowling, which is why we kept Sam away from the death and (Shardul) Thakur and Bravo took over. We’ll get better.”
Losing skipper David Warner said the wicket was on the slower side and they needed an extra batter.
“We tried to take it deep. You got one big boundary, so it’s not easy. We have to go back to the drawing board and work on few areas. I thought 160 was the right total to go after, but anything above that was always going to be difficult,” said the Australian.
“We need to monitor the wickets in the upcoming games and select the team accordingly. I think with our team and the depth that we have, we’re always going to be one short either way,” he added.