Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni looked jaded in his team’s loss to Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL T20 cricket tournament on Thursday but coach Stephen Fleming said nothing was wrong with the captain.
Dhoni had a forgettable outing with the bat and was bowled for 1 after being done in by a wrong one by Piyush Chawla and also missed a stumping when Robin Uthappa was on 28 as the KKR opener top-scored with an unbeaten 80 to fashion a seven-wicket victory.
“Obviously, you’re used to seeing MS win every game. It’s unusual for him to see under pressure like that. But he’s fine, he’s practising well, training hard. He’s giving confidence to the side. With such a hectic schedule, you don’t have much time to analyse,” Fleming told at the post-match news conference at Eden Gardens.
The former New Zealand captain acknowledged that injury to Ravichandran Ashwin had dealt a blow to CSK’s hope for a second win against KKR in as many days.
“He’s one of our quality bowlers so certainly it’s a mess when he’s not in the side.”
With an explosive start given by Brendon McCullum (32 from 12), Fleming joked that a total of 350 was looking imminent but losing too many wickets in the middle turned the tables.
“It was a high octane stuff and entertainment to the maximum. It was too fast. The execution to create that run rate was exhilarating. If we kept going that way, we could have got to 350!
“But we just lost too many wickets. That’s an area we want to have a look at. We want to become positive and aggressive. But we also need to measure up when to take risk and have to find a balance.”
He credited Brad Hogg for turning things around for KKR with his impressive bowling figures 4/29.
“The last two games he’s been outstanding. He’s come from the cold somewhat and delivered two great performances. He turned the game to KKR’s favour when it was going away from them. He was certainly a main player for them today.”