Mahendra Singh Dhoni The talk goes when it comes to keeping a well-organized mind while doing the finishing work for Chennai Super Kings, something he did to take his team to a record ninth IPL final against Delhi Capitals on Sunday.
“I haven’t done much in the tournament, so wanted to look at the ball and see what the bowler could do. I was batting well in the nets. But not thinking too much, if you bat a lot while batting. Overthinking you mess up your plans,” Dhoni said at the end of the match.
He praised DC for bowling well and taking good advantage of big boundaries.
He said, ‘My innings was important. Delhi have a very good bowling attack. He took advantage of the conditions well, so we knew it was going to be tough. My plan was simple, look at the ball, hit the ball.”
Dhoni said that he keeps his conversations with the team’s leading batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad simple.
“Whenever Ruturaj and I have a chat, it is a simple chat. Wanted to know what he was thinking. It’s good to see how well they have improved. He is ready to bat 20 overs.
On promoting Shardul Thakur to number four, Dhoni said that he wants to see if he can get some boundaries, which can make the difference between the runs needed and the remaining deliveries of 15-20 balls.
“Shardul has batted well, as has Deepak. Unlike other top-order batsmen, they are allowed to play shots from the first ball.
“Robin enjoys batting at the top but Moeen has been excellent at No. 3 but we have created a situation where either one can bat at No. 3 depending on the situation and the opposition.”
Dhoni feels the kind of practice he got last season after being knocked out of the play-offs helped this season as Ruturaj scored 600-plus runs with one more match.
“Last season was the first time we didn’t qualify for the play-offs. But we wanted to take advantage of the remaining 3-4 matches last season and many of our batsmen took advantage of that. That is why we have come back strongly this season.”
DC Captain Rishabh Pant Disappointed with the result but vowed to come back strongly in the next game.
“Obviously, it’s very frustrating, and we don’t have enough words to describe how we feel.”
The decision to use Tom Curran in the 20th over was based on his performance during his first three overs in which he got two wickets for 14 runs.
“I thought Tom bowled beautifully throughout the match, and so I thought it better to use him for the last over. The score was good, and he got off to a flight. That was the main difference. We made our mistakes. Will improve, learn from it and hopefully we can go ahead and play the finals.”