Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said Ruturaj Gaikwad and Dwayne Bravo “got us more than what we expected” after his team was reeling at 24 for four at one stage of its IPL match against Mumbai Indians here on Sunday.
Gaikwad stroked his way to an unbeaten 88 while veteran Bravo, batting at number eight, smashed 23 off just 8 balls as CSK made 156 for six after opting to bat first.
The total proved to be more than enough as CSK beat MI by 20 runs.
“At 30 for 4, you want to put up a respectable score, I felt Rutu and Bravo got us more than what we expected. We thought of 140, to get close to 160 was tremendous,” Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“Rayudu got injured, so it was tough to come back from there but we batted sensibly and finished superbly. It was sensible for one batter to bat right through to the end.”
Talking about the wicket, Dhoni said, “The wicket was two-paced, slightly slow to start off. Also it’s difficult if you’re batting lower down, if you don’t get a chance to see what is happening, you want to go hard.”
Dhoni also said that Ambati Rayudu, who retired hurt after getting hit while batting, should be fine by the next match.
Gaikwad was declared the Player of the Match and he said it was one of his better knocks.
“Obviously one of my top innings until now, given the pressure we were in. I had to grind it out, bat till 10-12 overs, give myself time and push for 120-130, and then slowly 140-150 was possible. It was a matter of spending time in the middle,” he said.
“Mahi bhai, everyone in the CSK management, once they back you, they don’t make you think anything but positive things. The Sri Lanka tour and preparation coming here helped a lot.”
MI’s stand-in captain Kieron Pollard was also all praise for Gaikwad.
“Ruturaj batted really well. In T20 cricket, if one person bats through he can hurt you. We didn’t finish off well with the ball. Losing by 20 runs you know those were the extra runs we conceded,” he said.
He did not find any fault with the pitch but blamed poor batting for the defeat.
“The surface was good, new ball had movement, our seamers got early wickets. Their batters tried to continue the momentum throughout, we didn’t do that.”
“Even though they got 150-plus, as a batting team we could have gotten that. Losing three wickets was a cardinal sin for us. Given the circumstances, Saurabh (Tiwary, 50 not out) batted really well,” he said.