Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni said he could not execute too many changes in the field against Andre Russell and Pat Cummins in his side’s narrow 18-run win at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.
Chennai, who batted first posted 221/3 with openers Faf du Plessis (95 n.o.) and Ruturaj Gaikwad leading the charge. In reply, the Kolkata top-order was blown away by Deepak Chahar’s 4/29 before the middle-order comprising Andre Russell (54 off 22), Dinesh Karthik (40 off 24) and Pat Cummins (66* off 34) scripted a remarkable comeback.
The game took another turn as Pat Cummins smashed 30 runs off Sam Curran in the 16th over before bringing up a quick-fire to nearly take Kolkata home.
“From the 16th over, the contest was between the fast bowlers and the batsman. You can’t do too much. The side that has won is a side that has executed slightly better. But if they would’ve had more wickets, the scenario could’ve been different,” said Dhoni after the win.
Dhoni also added that it was important to respect the opposition’s capabilities while it hosts big-hitters in the middle-order. He said: “Have seen enough in cricket, always like to be humble. There’s no good reason that if you have scored, the opposition can’t score. My lines to the players was that we have got good runs on the board but let’s be humble. You don’t want to take too many early wickets with big hitters like Andre Russell coming in.”
Dhoni also heaped praise on opener Ruturaj Gaikwad who had a lacklustre start to the season. “Rutu is somebody who has shown his class in the last IPL. You always need to assess where he is mentally. Once when he was off guard, I just asked him how are you feeling today. When you put a question like that, you wait for the reactions, you see what’s in his eyes. There was enough in his reactions to suggest he wasn’t rattled. That’s what I’ve been doing all my life (applying psychology) but in a good way,” said Dhoni.
Morgan: First five overs of the chase cost us
Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan said the first five overs of its 221-run chase cost the side a win.
“One hell of a game. Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik put a partnership together and following that Pat Cummins gave us every chance towards the end. Disappointing that the rest of us couldn’t help them out. The first five overs of batting didn’t go our way. We didn’t play as well as we would’ve liked,” said Morgan.
Chennai who climbed to the top of the table will face Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday in Mumbai while Kolkata faces Rajasthan Royal at the venue on Saturday.