Bengaluru, Sept 22: Mahendra Singh Dhoni fans got a glimpse of the best finisher during Chennai Super Kings 16-run loss to Rajasthan Royals in Sharjah on Tuesday. But only a glimpse.
One of the best, if not the best finisher of all time, once again came to bat way down the order and was out in the middle with the bat for a short while. When questioned during the post-match presentation ceremony, Dhoni said the extended two-week quarantine hampered his preparations for the season as he didn’t get a chance to bat for a long time.
After the Royals put up a massive total of 217, Dhoni came to bat at No. 7, sending the likes of Sam Curran and Kedar Jadhav ahead of him.
On being asked why the skipper came in so lower down the order, Dhoni said, "I haven't batted for a long time. 14-day quarantine doesn't help."
The Chennai skipper was referring to CSK's extra one-week quarantine after 13 people in their contingent tested positive for COVID-19, and as a result the Chennai team missed out on important training sessions.
The last over saw Dhoni smash three huge sixes. He remained not out on 29 off 17 balls.
Upon being asked about CSK’s loss to the Rajasthan team, Dhoni chose not to take names, but considered Murali Vijay’s 21 off 21 as one of the reasons and also the fact the Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja had an off day, did not work in CSK’s favour.
Speaking about the loss, MSD said, "With 217 on the board, we needed a very good start which was not the case. Steve (Smith) and (Sanju) Samson batted very well. We need to give credit to their bowlers. Once you've seen the first innings, you knew the lengths to bowl," Dhoni said.
"Their spinners did well to bowl away from the batsman. Our spinners made the error of bowling too full. If we would've maybe restricted them to 200, it would've been a good game."
Meanwhile Rajasthan skipper Steve Smith praised Jofra Archer, who’s big hits in the final over made the difference in the end. Archer hammered CSK bowler Lungi Ngidi for 30 in the final over to help Royals get past the 200-mark and post 216. At the end Chennai was just 16 runs short.
Smith praised both Archer and Sanju Samson, saying, "I think the last surge from Jofra was an incredible bit of hitting. Sanju Samson, looked like everything he hit went for six. MS smacked a few in the end, and Faf got going too, but nice to get a win," Smith said.
Sanju smashed nice sixes to help Royals get off to a winning start and the skipper was full of praise. "Sanju was incredible, and all I had to do was give him the strike. This should give him a lot of confidence.
“Jos (Buttler) is a quality player and we'll see what happens when he comes back. Hard to take the opening slot away from someone like him," signed off the Royals captain.