Chennai: Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has issued a stern warning to his bowlers to drastically cut down on no-balls and wides in their upcoming IPL matches, saying if they continue to give away free runs to the opposition, they will have to play under a new captain.
Dhoni’s warning came even as the four-time IPL champions defeated Lucknow Super Giants by 12 runs at the MA Chidambaram stadium Monday.
The wicketkeeper-batter was not amused with the way his bowlers sprayed the ball all over the place, sending down three no-balls and 13 wides, though LSG were still restricted to 205 for 7 while chasing 218.
CSK had conceded four wides and two no-balls in the opener against defending champions Gujarat Titans in a close match, which Dhoni’s side lost by five wickets.
Young CSK pacer Rajvardhan Hangargekar bowled three wides and a no-ball in that match, while on Monday, against LSG, he bowled three more wides.
Another CSK quick Tushar Deshpande, while taking two wickets Monday, was guilty of bowling four wides and three no-balls.
Veteran CSK bowler Deepak Chahar too was wayward Monday, giving away five extra runs through wides.
“They’ll have to bowl no no-balls and less wides. We are bowling too many extra deliveries and need to cut them out otherwise they’ll be playing under a new captain,” Dhoni said bluntly at the post-match presentation.
Dhoni said he was surprised by the Chepauk pitch which produced a lot of runs Monday.
“It was a terrific game, high-scoring game. All of us were thinking how the wicket will be. We had that doubt. It was a high-scoring game. Overall I think it was a perfect first game that happened and it was a full house for the first game in 5 or 6 years since we’ve been here.
“I thought it will be much slower. It was a wicket where you could score runs but overall it got a bit slower. We’ll have to see how it plays over the next six games at home but hopefully we can score here.”
Dhoni said his side’s fast-bowling department will also need slight improvement and bowl according to the conditions.
“Even if it’s on the flatter side, force batters to hit over the fielders.”
Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul said his team did not have the ideal start after winning the toss and inviting CSK in to bat.
“The bowlers said it was sticky and moving a bit so there was something in it for them but they didn’t put it in the right areas. When you have quality batters in the opposition, they will make you pay,” Rahul said.
“When you bowl first on a fresh wicket, it takes a bit of time to understand what a good pace and line to bowl on that wicket.
“(Devon) Conway and Ritu (Ruturaj Gaikwad) played some brilliant shots so it’s something for us to learn and get better at. Six overs going for 70-odd is probably what cost us the game in the end, but I can’t pinpoint one thing.”
Rahul said there were phases in the game that his side didn’t win and let it slip away.
“Kyle Mayers has come in with some real good form. I was watching some games that West Indies played and he was smoking the ball. It’s good to see him come here with the same approach.
“In Lucknow, he hit the ball a mile and he did the same today. It’s good to see what he’s done with the opportunity. Bish (Ravi Bishnoi) also did very well. It’s good to see different players putting their hands up to give us the best chance to win the game and that’s something for us to take forward in the tournament.”