MS Dhoni said that the bounce offered by the pitch at Sharjah on Thursday was “different”.© BCCI/IPL
MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) became the first team in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season to book their place in the playoff round when they defeated SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) by six wickets in a low-scoring match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday. The win came courtesy of a disciplined bowling performance as they restricted SRH to 134/7 in 20 overs before the batters did their job in taking the team past the finishing line. The victory took CSK to 18 points from 11 games, with nine wins and two losses, and boosted their hopes of finishing the league phase at the top of the standings.
Skipper Dhoni later said that the bounce offered by the pitch at Sharjah on Thursday was “different” and that he had told his bowlers to take advantage of the conditions.
“The bounce of the wicket was different – instead of knee height, it was shin height, and once the batsmen figured out that they have to hit straight, they succeeded,” Dhoni explained during the post-match presentation ceremony.
“The bowlers tried to swing it up front and got hit straight when they pitched it up too much, but then adjusted very well. I told the bowlers that they needed to exploit the conditions in today’s game. If the odd ball stopped early on, it started coming onto the bat later,” he added.
Set to face Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Dhoni will hope for a similar performance from CSK’s bowlers as they look to cement their place at the top of the IPL 2021 standings.
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