MS Dhoni was critical of the Chepauk pitch on which the IPL opener between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore. RCB were all out for 70 on a rank turner and CSK took more than 17 overs to reach the target and lost three wickets in the process. “I never expected the wicket to play how it played. I think something close to 140 you are looking at. I think the wicket needs to get much better,” said the former Indian captain.
“Well, we have communicated to the players in what scenarios they will be needed. He [Harbhajan] has the kind of experience needed to bowl on this wicket. I don’t think he would have minded bowling first or second here.”
38-year-old Harbhajan Singh was man of the match. He ended the RCB innings with figures of 3/20 and his wickets included those of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali. “I have learnt quite a lot sitting next to you, Sunny bhai (Sunil Gavaskar) and all the legends who were in the commentary team,” he said while speaking to Sanjay Manjrekar in the post-match presentation.
“This is a special award from me. It goes to my wife and family,” he said. Harbhajan has been out of contention of the Indian team for quite some time now and has been part of the commentary panel for many recent international matches.
“You cannot ask for a better start. Since they have a lot of left-handers, (CSK coach) Fleming came and told me I will be playing. It was nice to get a wicket up front and once you have it, your confidence level grows up. Imran bowled really well and it’s always nice to get wickets of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. How often an offspinner gets their wickets!”