CSK batters struggled against RR spinners as they suffered their second loss of the season
On Wednesday, at the Chepauk Stadium, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja brought their expertise and experience to the fore.
Yet their heroics were not enough to see them score 63 runs from 30 balls as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) suffered a close three-run loss against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) tie.
Dhoni knew the problem did not lie at the feet of two battle-hardened men but with the ones who came before them – and whose struggle against the quality spin of Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal and Adam Zampa had left them with a mountain to climb.
“I think in the middle (overs), we needed a bit more strike rotation,” Dhoni said after the match as CSK looked on course with 78 for one in the 10th over before losing the plot as they were reduced to 113 for six by the 15th over.
“I don’t think there was a lot for the spinners. Yes, they have experienced spinners, so they bowled very well. They were bowling the right length, but I felt in that period you had too many dot balls,” Dhoni, who is playing his 200th IPL match, said.
“If the wicket is slow, if it’s stopping and turning, then I can understand, but with the set batsman and the new batsman going in, I don’t think it was that difficult. So, I think the ownership needs to come from the batsmen,” he said while asking his batters to take ownership.
CSK needed 21 runs off the final over. Medium pacer Sandeep Sharma had a bumpy start with two wide balls and followed it with two low full-tosses. Though Dhoni whacked those two balls outside the leg-side boundary, Sharma pulled himself back smartly as he conceded just three runs from the next three deliveries, which helped RR record a close win.
Talking about his yorkers that sealed the fate of CSK, Sharma told the broadcaster, “In the last over, I wanted to execute Yorkers. I’ve been bowling good yorkers in the nets.”
“One side of the ground was bigger, so I thought I would use it and bowl at the (batter’s) heel but they turned out to be low full-tosses and went for six. Then I changed my plan and went around the wicket, hoping for a change. It was good that the result was different,” said the jubilant medium pacer from Punjab.