Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni © AFP
Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni © AFP

Chennai Super Kings (CSK)‘s matches in VIVO IPL 2018 has always been a last-minute scare. They have fallen behind in each of their games and pulled back things, except last night’s match vs KXIP: be it needing 65 or 79 or 85 from the final 36 deliveries. Dwayne Bravo pulled off a heist in the first match, Sam Billings bettered it in the second and now MS Dhoni was one hit away from taking his side to the finish line. Dhoni, battling back pain, took the match into the last over with a blistering unbeaten 44-ball 79. However, his valiant effort did not prove to be enough as CSK ended at 193 for five in response to KXIP’s 197.

Dhoni got his team almost over the line with an innings comprising six fours and five sixes. With 17 needing off the final over, pacer Mohit Sharma did the job for KXIP, who recorded their second win in three games this season. Dhoni’s exhibition of powerful hitting was witnessed after the Chris Gayle show.

Despite all the efforts in place, one still wonders where it went all wrong for CSK. Several questions have rose over the position of Ravindra Jadeja in the batting line-up who comes in before the hard-hitting Bravo. Dhoni, however, had the answers in place during the post-match presentation: “It’s a difficult one. And Fleming is in the dugout, so he needs to take that decision. And, we have confidence in Jadeja also, one of the reasons is that being a left-hander, it’s not easy to consistently bowl to a left-hander and also this is the time that we can give him that opportunity to express himself.”

Dhoni backs the spinner in the finisher’s role: “If he doesn’t do [it]. Bravo is an experienced one, he can always go back and do the job for us. But overall, Jadeja is somebody who can do it for us. Unless we give him an opportunity; so far we have never really given him the kind of opportunity that he really deserves, so I will definitely back him to come good in the coming games.”

On his sore back, Dhoni added: “It’s bad; how bad it is, I don’t know. God has given me the power. I don’t need to use the back a lot, the hands can do the job. But overall, we’ll assess how bad it is. It shouldn’t be too bad because I know what really happened and once you know the kind of injury it is, it becomes slightly easy to get out of it and also we have three-four days now before the next game. I’m quite used to playing with few injuries, whether it is back, fingers, elbow or something else.”