Sam Curran, whose cameo of 18 runs off 6 balls after being promoted in the batting order helped Chennai Super Kings (CSK) chase down the target of 163 against Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL 2020 opener on Saturday, said the move to promote him took even him by surprise.
With the last part of the chase remaining, CSK sent in left-handers Ravindra Jadeja and Sam Curran to bat alongside Faf du Plessis, even though Dhoni himself and Kedar Jadhav were yet to bat.
Curran, who batted at 6, said, “To be honest, very surprised I went in at number six but he’s (Dhoni) a genius, he obviously thought something. Great win in the end. I think the left-right combination was his plan. The 18th over from Krunal Pandya was the over we wanted to target – a six or out approach mentality. Take the risk, and if it comes off it comes off, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”
Both Jadeja and Curran played short and aggressive cameos that took CSK closer to the target. Dhoni did come out to bat after Curran’s wicket but only had time to play out two dot balls before Du Plessis hit the winning runs at the other end.
Interview – I was surprised to walk out to bat ahead of MS Dhoni – @CurranSM
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) September 20, 2020
When asked why he chose to promote Curran and Jadeja, Dhoni said after the match: “At some point, I thought we needed to give Jadeja and someone like Sam Curran a chance to go ahead in the batting order and express themselves. They still had two spinners remaining, and we tried to intimidate the bowler a bit, it was just a psychological aspect. We know we bat quite deep, and wanted them to go after the bowler. If you clear one or two sixes, then it is easier for the batsmen to follow.”
Ambati Rayudu (71) and Faf du Plessis (58*) top-scored for CSK in their opening-day victory. They will next face Rajasthan Royals on September 22.
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