Chennai Super Kings slumped to its third successive defeat as the MS Dhoni-led team fell short by seven runs in its chase of 165 in Dubai on Friday. Ravindra Jadeja’s half-century and Dhoni’s unbeaten 36-ball 47 kept Chennai in the hunt but Abdul Samad, summoned to bowl the final over, defended 28 with Dhoni visibly in discomfort. “I’m alright, the throat starts to get dry in these sort of conditions,” said Dhoni after the match.
Dhoni struck one six and four fours during a knock where he struggled to break the shackles at different stages of the run chase. “I was not able to middle a lot of deliveries, maybe trying to hit the ball too hard,” said Dhoni. “Looking at the outfield, it was subconscious. Long time back, we may or may not have lost three in a row. We have to get a lot of things right.”
Dhoni was frank in his assessment of CSK’s performance in IPL 2020 so far. Chennai’s batting effort followed a familiar template: lack of boundaries in their PowerPlay and the middle overs, and not keeping up with the asking rate. Dhoni was particularly critical of CSK’s misfiring death bowling. “It’s the professionalism – dropping catches, bowling no-balls. We’re making the same mistakes again,” said Dhoni. “After the 16th over, we had two bad overs. Overall we could have been slightly better. Nobody wants to drop catches, but at this level, you have to draw a line that these catches have to be taken. Catches like these can really hamper your knockout stage games. What if this was a knockout game? A few areas to improve and we’ll come back stronger.”