MS Dhoni, Faf du Plessis, Chennai Super Kings, CSK, IPL 2018
MS Dhoni (left) and Faf du Plessis (Image courtesy: AFP)

MS Dhoni’s sublime form has ensured Chennai Super Kings (CSK) domination at the top spot in VIVO IPL 2018. Dhoni is in the fifth spot in top run-getters, having smashed 286 runs from 5 matches at 71.50. He struck those runs at an incredible strike rate of 169.2. Dhoni’s power-hitting in CSK’s last 2 matches reminded critics that he is far from done.

On Monday, he belted a 22-ball 51 not out to guide CSK to 211 for 4 against Delhi Daredevils (DD). CSK won the match by 13 runs to reclaim the top spot in the points table. Teammate Faf du Plessis, in the post-match ceremony, spoke about Dhoni’s domination and elaborated on the CSK skipper’s technique.

“He (Dhoni) is in really good form at the moment, so its extremely tough to bowl to him when he is in a form like that. He has got such a big arch and if you want to bowl wide he can still hit you to the leg side,” Du Plessis said. “He has got a lot of options, so it makes life difficult for a bowler and a captain because he can hit any ball to wherever he wants to. That kind of form is obviously very important to us”, he added.

Impressive Rayudu

Du Plessis, who opened the batting, scored 33 and shared a century stand with Shane Watson, also heaped praises on Orange Cap holder Ambati Rayudu. After Watson’s 40-ball 78, Rayudu struck a breezy 24-ball 41 and supported Dhoni. Rayudu, who opened in the previous encounters, was pushed to No.4 this time.

CSK becomes 2nd team to win 100 T20s, after MI
CSK becomes 2nd team to win 100 T20s, after MI

Praising Rayudu’s flexibility, du Plessis added, “Rayadu has delivered for CSK when asked to open and even he was required to bat at the number four position. Rayadu’s flexibility has really impressed me. I have really enjoyed watching him bat in this IPL. The ability to come in and score boundaries from the first ball is a very difficult skill. That ability to come at four and five and score a boundary straight-away, not a lot of people can do that.”

“With Suresh (Raina) at three and (Rayadu) at four, if we get off to a solid start, the two can just come in and play their natural game which can be dangerous for the opposition. So we are fortunate that we have got a lot of options in the batting unit.”

CSK will take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) next at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. In their previous encounter, CSK chased down a total against KKR in excess of 200.