By India Today Sports Desk: Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni said he was not thinking about the end result when Glenn Maxwell and Faf du Plessis were going big in a stunning high-scoring thriller against Royal Challengers Bangalore but about the processes and his next moves on Monday, April 17. Dhoni said he was happy to stay in the present even as the two RCB duo gave the home team hopes of chasing down 227 runs in the marquee IPL 2023 clash.
A week after Royal Challengers Bangalore failed to defend 212 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Chennai Super Kings gave themselves the cushion of 10-15 extra runs, thanks to Devon Conway's 45-ball 83 and Shivam Dube's 27-ball 52.
However, at one point in the game, 226 didn't look enough as RCB were on course to script the IPL record for the most successful chase. CSK got the big wicket of Virat Kohli early (6) in the first over and No. 3 batter Mahipal Lomror went without troubling the scorers and reduced RCB to 15 for 2.
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Glenn Maxwell and captain Faf du Plessis, though, tore into the CSK bowling attack, stitching a 126-run stand in just 61 balls. Maxwell hit 8 sixes while Du Plessis hit 5 sixes as the two broke the record for the highest partnership for the 3rd wicket in the IPL.
It was carnage from both ends as RCB raced past 140 in just the 12th over, bringing the asking rate under control. To add to CSK's woes, Sri Lanka spinner Maheesh Theekshana put down Du Plessis on 52 in the 11th over.
"Whenever you score 220, the batsmen have to keep on hitting. It's a matter of few overs in the middle. If Faf and Maxi had continued, they'd have won by the 18th over, so you need to get engrossed with the process, know what is the bowling change, what can I do from which end, what is really happening, if something has really changed," Dhoni said.
"I can see it better from close by, so I can know if there is deflection off the wicket for the spinners or quicks. I am always involved in what needs to be done. If I can provide bowlers a good field and give nice suggestions, that's a win for me," he added.
It was MS Dhoni's catches that brought the game back in favour of CSK as the senior wicketkeeper kept his calm and made sure Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell's top-edges did not go to ground again.
DHONI'S PRAISE FOR DUBE
Furthermore, MS Dhoni heaped rich praise on Shivam Dube, saying that the Mumbai batter is one of the cleanest strikers of the cricket ball and that he needs to believe in himself more to play those match-winning knocks frequently.
Dube hit as many as 5 sixes, including a 111-meter six and stitched a 90-run partnership with Devon Conway. Dube's knock made sure CSK did not lose momentum after a stunning 20-ball 37 from Ajinkya Rahane.
"Dube is a clean hitter, yes, he has an issue with the fast bowlers but is a tall guy with a different (longer) reach when compared to other batters. So the spinners have to adjust their lengths, and we had plans for him. But he was injured when he came for the camp. He needs to believe that he can score runs in the middle overs more than us because he has the talent and once you cross the ropes you're alone," Dhoni said.
CSK, who moved to the 3rd spot in the IPL 2023 points table, will next face SunRisers Hyderabad in Chepauk on Friday, April 21.
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