Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni admitted that he made a big mistake by opting to bat first at the Wankhede pitch against Gujarat Titans wasn’t a great idea. Barring Ruturaj Gaikwad‘s 49-ball 53, none of the Chennai batters could hang around for long and get a big score as Chennai made just 133/5 in their 20 overs. Moreover, Gujarat’s bowling attack stemmed the run flow by not allowing Chennai’s batters to hit a boundary in the last five overs.
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“To start off, batting first wasn’t a really good idea. It was tough for the batters to hit the faster bowlers in the first half, spinners-wise it was pretty even in both halves. It was coming on better in the second half. Other than that, looking at the composition to the guys we gave a chance, it was slightly tough for them in the middle overs,” said Dhoni after the match.
Dhoni explained why N Jagadeesan was promoted ahead of all-rounder Shivam Dube. “A bit more runs in the middle could have been good. Sai bowled really well in the middle. We could have pushed Shivam up in the order but it would have defeated the purpose of having Jaggi on the side. Had it been earlier in the tournament, it would have been a tactical move to have Shivam in. But we wanted for Jaggi to spend some time in the middle.”
Looking at the bright side, young pacer Matheesha Pathirana made a splash on his IPL debut, taking out Shubman Gill with a leg-before dismissal on his very first ball before having Hardik Pandya caught at mid-off, leaving Dhoni impressed. “He’s an excellent death bowler; a bit similar to Malinga. With his bowling action, the margin of error is slim as he won’t get much bounce and with the difference of a yard, his ball will bounce a lot.”
“He’s got a good slower one and it will be slightly difficult to pick him if he bowls at a consistent pace and with this action. It means that you got to watch him very carefully and people will have to spend extra seconds watching the ball,” stated Dhoni.
Dhoni signed off by saying that Chennai will try to give more fringe players a chance ahead of the final league match against Rajasthan Royals at Brabourne Stadium. “We will look to give people ample time in the middle. We are trying to feature a good XI and will look to do that in the coming game also.”