MS Dhoni “is still hungry” and Chennai Super Kings stay afloat in IPL-15 after the legend’s latest Houdini act at the death. And they are all that matter to skipper Ravindra Jadeja.
Five defeats from seven outings became a thing of the past after Dhoni turned back the clock to script a memorable three-wicket victory for CSK against Mumbai Indians in the IPL here on Thursday, following a heart-stopping finish that saw him hit a four off the last ball of the game.
“It’s very good that he is still hungry (for runs and wins),” the new CSK skipper said after Dhoni’s 13-ball 28 propelled the team to an epic win over their arch-rivals.
“His touch is still there. And looking at it, all of us remain calm, that if he is in the middle and stays till the final over, he will win the game,” added Jadeja.
“We were tense but had a belief that he (Dhoni) was out there, he would finish the game and come. He has won so many games for India, in the IPL, we knew that he would finish the game.” Dhoni (28 not out off 13) batted like the finisher of his hey days to help CSK get the required 17 runs off the final over to win their second game of the season and extend Mumbai Indians’ winless streak to seven games.
He smashed a six and four off third and fourth ball off Jaydev Unadkat before maintaining his calm to put one past short-fine leg for the match-winning boundary, leaving the bowler and the rest of his Mumbai teammates shattered. “Look we were in pressure and the way the match was going, I believe there was pressure in both the dugouts… As the world’s best finisher (Dhoni) was out in the middle.
“Somewhere we knew that if he (Dhoni) stays till the last ball, then definitely he would win the game for us. We had the belief that he wouldn’t miss the final two-three balls and luckily that happened,” Jadeja said at the virtual post-match press conference.
In pursuit of 156, CSK were reeling at 106 for six, but then Dwaine Pretorius played his part to perfection before Dhoni finished the game.
CSK pacer Mukesh Choudhary wreaked havoc with the new ball before Tilak Varma’’s responsible 51 not out off 43 lifted Mumbai Indians to 155 for seven.
Jadeja said despite not performing in the last couple of games, the team management decided to back the speedster, knowing his ability to swing the new ball. “Yes, when he (Choudhary) was a net bowler with us, we had seen that he bowled well in the nets and swung the ball. His skill to swing the new ball is very good and so we backed him,” said Jadeja.
“He didn’t perform well in the last one or two games, but despite that we backed him, as we knew that he would take wickets. And luckily he bowled well, tried to swing, which helped him in getting wickets,” signed off Jadeja.