MS Dhoni heaped praise on young Maharashtra batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad after Chennai Super Kings (CSK) beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by six wickets in Match 49 of IPL 2020 at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday.
Chasing a stiff target of 173 runs to win, Gaikwad slammed a brilliant 72 off 53 deliveries. His knock was studded with six boundaries and two sixes.
“Ruturaj has shown the talent that he is. He came in and got positive with Covid. We didn’t have much time to have a look at him. He is one of the talented youngsters going around. He is not someone who speaks a lot. Once you go inside, you are the only one handling the pressure. When we made him play the first game, he stepped out and got out. But one ball is never enough. I think it is very exciting how he has grabbed his chances,” Dhoni said.
The chase was under control for Chennai but Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni’s departure in quick succession helped KKR fightback. However, Ravindra Jadeja starred with the bat with an unbeaten 11-ball 31, smashing the last ball into the stands to dent KKR’s hopes of reaching the playoffs.
“I think it was one game in which the climax went in our favour. Lot of credit to the guys. This season he (Jadeja) has been fantastic. He has been the only one in our team who has scored in the death overs. He needed somebody else and that would have been good for us. We want to give games to people who haven’t played,” Dhoni said.
Gaikwad on his part said that he stayed positive and that he is happy with his contribution.
“It is feeling good. Pretty confident as well. I have backed myself. Both the innings when I got out early, I knew the situation was a little tough. Covid has made me tough. As our captain says, face every situation with a smile. I stayed positive and didn’t think much about the future,” Gaikwad, who was adjudged the Ma-of-the-Match said.
KKR skipper Eoin Morgan rued the fact that the coin didn’t land in Kolkata’s favour but picked positives, despite the loss.
“I think we played really well there, just on the wrong side of the toss. The dew from about the 8th over was really challenging. We improved on our batting (as compared to the previous games). Our bowlers absolutely gave it their everything. We have one game left, and still have a very little chance,” Morgan said.
“We felt we were right in the game (at the halfway stage). Nitish Rana kicked on and showed his class once again. It was actually a good day for us with the bat. They (Narine and Varun) are two fantastic spinners. I can’t fault anyone’s effort tonight. He (Nagarkoti) didn’t have enough runs to defend. He’s a young guy, he will take it on the chin and move forward. Looking forward to the next game against Royals,” he added.