MS Dhoni led CSK becomes the first team of IPL 2021 to out-rightly qualify for the playoffs. With a last over win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, CSK have added a ‘Q’ in front of their name.
Josh Hazelwood stars in CSK’s victory
Chennai Super Kings put up yet another complete performance. After winning the toss, Dhoni read the pitch perfectly and decided to field first on a tricky Sharjah pitch. His bowlers backed his decision as they restricted SRH for a meagre total of 134.
The chief destroyer of SRH’s batting was Josh Hazelwood who took key wickets of Jason Roy, Abdul Samad and Abhishek Sharma. He was well supported by Bravo who took two wickets and Thakur and Jadeja who took one wicket each.
CSK then chased the target in the last over with Dhoni finishing off in his vintage style. Crucial contributions from Gaikwad, Du Plessis and Rayudu helped CSK cross the line. Hazelwood was adjudged the Player of the Match award for his excellent spell.
After the match, Dhoni revealed his thinking behind his decision of bowling first. He also revealed how the tricky Sharjah wicket behaved.
“The bounce of the wicket was different – instead of knee height, it was shin height, and once the batsman figured out that they had to hit straight, they succeeded. The bowlers tried to swing it upfront and got hit straight when they pitched it up too much, but then adjusted very well.”
Dhoni further revealed the advice that he gave to the bowlers. He asked them to exploit the conditions and the bowlers did exactly that and didn’t let SRH batters run away with the game.
“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.”
MS Dhoni applauds CSK for coming back strong
IPL 2021 has been a complete turnaround for the yellow army in comparison to IPL 2020. Last year, they were the first team to get eliminated from the competition. This year, they have become the first team to qualify for the playoffs.
According to MS Dhoni, this comeback means a great deal for him and the team as they are known for making strong comebacks.
“It means a lot, because the last time, we said we wanted to come back strong. We are known for that and there was a lot at stake,” Dhoni said.
CSK are now firm favorites to not only finish on top of the table but to finish the league as champions.