Dubai: Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) IPL campaign may well end Monday. If that happens it will be the first time for CSK that they have not reached the play-offs. It will however, happen only if KKR win their next match. However, CSK skipper MS Dhoni wants his team to enjoy even as they endure a painful next 12 hours.
KKR are on 12 points. A win against KXIP will take them to 14 points Monday. Three other sides – Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore – have already got 14 points.
CSK, on the other hand, can go up to only 12 points even if they win their next two games.
“It does hurt when you don’t do well so you try to amplify certain emotions. So that the guys just don’t drop the game. That can leave with 12 painful hours of the remaining time in the tournament. You have to enjoy the game no matter where you are on the table,” Dhoni said Sunday.
The last two games could well be inconsequential. However, the CSK skipper wants his men to just go out there and enjoy.
“If you are not enjoying the cricket, it can become cruel and painful. So I am glad with how the youngsters have responded,” he said.
The eight-wicket victory Sunday over RCB was the kind of performance that Dhoni always wanted from his team. “I felt this one was one of the perfect games. Everything went to plan, and the execution was there. We kept picking wickets, and kept them to a total that was slightly below par,” Dhoni pointed out.
The former India skipper lauded spinners Imran Tahir and Mitchell Santner who kept things tight. Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad also got some amount of praise from the legend.
“The wicket was on a slower side, and the spinners did a good job. We haven’t been very consistent with the batting. Today, the start was very good. Rutu batted well. He backed himself to play the shots he is known for. Looking to time the ball, if you look for four, you can get six,” Dhoni said.
RCB skipper Virat Kohli said that his team ‘wasn’t expressive enough’ against CSK. He however, accepted that it is a marathon league and there would be a defeat ‘here and there’.
“One should realise 140+ is a competitive total on that pitch. We were targeting 150 and got close to it. I thought we still could have bowled change of pace and the odd bouncer. We weren’t expressive enough. We let CSK batsmen dictate stuff,” Kohli said.
According to the India captain, it’s all about preparedness on a given day. “You have to be prepared on a given day to do well. All sides have good players; it’s about how you come out onto the park on that particular day. We are playing really good cricket but you have to accept you will lose games here and there,” Kohli concluded.