Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni revealed that a fitness concern for Dwayne Bravo meant he couldn’t bowl the final over in Chennai’s last over defeat to Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Sharjah on Saturday.
Dhoni turned to Ravindra Jadeja with Delhi needing 17 off the final over. Axar Patel hit three sixes to seal a five-wicket win.
“Bravo was not fit, he went out and was really not able to come back,” said Dhoni. “That was the reason we had to bowl (Jadeja). The option was between Karn [Sharma] and Jaddu so I went ahead with Jaddu. Maybe not enough.”
Shikhar Dhawan scored an unbeaten 101 off 58 balls to continue his good form with the bat.
“Shikhar’s wicket was important but we dropped him quite a few times. If he keeps batting, he will keep the strike rate high. Also, the wicket played better in the second half, but we can’t take the credit away from Shikhar,” said the CSK captain.
After a slow start, CSK posted 179 on the board. “There wasn’t a lot of dew, but there was just enough to make the pitch better. That makes a big difference: minus 10 when you are batting, and the extra 10 for the team batting second,” said Dhoni.
All-rounder Sam Curran conceded four runs and picked up a wicket off the penultimate over to give CSK a sniff at victory. Dhoni said, “A positive was Sam’s last over. He needs convincing he can execute the wide yorkers. He is not usually confident with that, but today he did well with that. That is one ball that can be difficult to hit.”
Shikhar Dhawan struck a blistering hundred against CSK on Saturday. – BCCI/IPL
Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer prasied Axar for his contributions with both bat and ball this season. Iyer said, “Whenever we give out dressing room Man-of-the-match awards, he is always there. You see his preparations, they are always on point. We know the strengths and weaknesses of our team very well. We enjoy each other’s progress.”
“I was sitting inside and I was pretty nervous,” Iyer said of the tense finish. “I knew if Shikhar stayed till the end, we would win. But the way Axar came out and hit those sixes, it was brilliant.”
On Dhawan’s form, he said, “I just told one of my team-mates today that the way Shikhar batted, it was mesmerising to see. As a captain, that gives you breathing space that someone can take your team to the end.”