Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting was surprised by Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s calm demeanor under pressure, describing the legendary Chennai Super Kings captain as one of the greatest finishers of the game. An irritable Dhoni produced a nostalgic short innings to take on a band of CSK old men in their ninth Indian Premier League final after beating DC by four wickets in Qualifier 1 here on Sunday night.
Needing 13 runs in the last over, Dhoni hit a square cut, a little luck went his way and then pulled DC’s best bowler Tom Curran for the most famous T20 boundary of recent times. Earlier, he had only hit Avesh Khan for a six over mid-wicket.
“Yeah, look, he (Dhoni) has been one of the greats. This was the situation tonight, we were sitting back in the dug-out and wondering, will (Ravindra) Jadeja come forward, will Dhoni come forward and I Ponting said, I straight up my hand and said that Dhoni will now come out and try to cool the game.
“Look, I think when he’s done and when he retires, I think he’ll definitely be remembered as one of the greatest finishers the game has ever seen. Look, we Probably didn’t perform as well as we needed him (Dhoni). In those last few overs and you know if you miss, he’s going to pay you and he’s done it for a long time, I think Well, our bowlers missed their areas a bit for MS in the end and that definitely paid us off,” Ponting said as the DC bowlers failed to execute their plans against Dhoni.
MS Dhoni and Ricky Ponting as captains:
Two of the greatest leaders of all time! pic.twitter.com/7UDUqVPU4O
— ICC (@ICC) August 18, 2020
CSK head coach Stephen Fleming also praised their captain, who turned the clock back and played a match-winning cameo in Qualifier 1, saying it was “emotional” to see Dhoni finish the game. Well, it was great. It was great for us emotionally. We wish him (Dhoni) every time he goes out because we know he is under pressure, he has expectations and again he comes to Trump for us. So it was emotional in the changing room,” he said in the post-match virtual press conference.
Asked what he had in conversation with Dhoni, who won three ICC titles for India as a captain, Fleming replied: “Yes a lot of conversation. I think, maybe we have (from) these 20 overs.” There’s more talk than we’ve had for a long time. There was a lot of technical discussions and trying to figure out how it would unfold and who was going to make the most of the impact.
“But let me tell you that when the captain has a look in his eyes and is told that I will go, it is well documented that he did and today was one of them. Therefore, I do not hold him back. And we have seen the result of that,” the head coach said.
Before Dhoni gave the finishing touches, it was Ruturaj Gaikwad’s stroke-filled 70 and Robin Uthappa’s equally aggressive 63 that laid the foundation for CSK’s victory. Fleming said, “Well, we are very proud of every performance from a player that helps us (us) win games, so it was very special. I thought from the very first ball, he (Uthappa) had good intentions.” ,” Fleming said. .
Courtesy of their win, CSK have made it to their ninth IPL final, while DC will now lock horns with the winner of the Eliminator between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore.