Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni seemed impressed with the effort young Mukesh Choudhary and Simarjeet Singh put in against Mumbai Indians (MI), albeit in a losing cause at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.
Defending a mere 97 runs, Mukesh and Simarjeet ran riot with the new ball. They reduced Rohit Sharma and Co. to 33/4 to send tremors down Mumbai batting. So much so, that Dhoni bowled both of them out in one go.
Both Mukesh and Simarjeet proved how strong India’s bowling reserves are at present. The Asian giants have managed to create a pool of fast bowlers in the last few years, which has made the side a powerhouse across formats.
The former India captain is excited about the fast bowling prospects in the country. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, MS Dhoni said:
“It’s good to have them – we have gone through periods where we’ve never had a real extraordinary bench strength of fast-bowlers. Also they take time to mature. If you’re lucky you get someone who in six months time can feature in all three formats. That’s what the IPL does – it gives opportunities.”
“A lot of them have become slightly more courageous and want to take the opposition head on. As they play more games, they get more and more confident and they execute their plans better.”
Despite a courageous showing from Mukesh Choudhary and Simarjeet Singh, Mumbai cruised to victory with 31 balls to spare. Dhoni admitted that defending anything below 130 is a difficult task in the IPL.
The CSK captain added:
“I don’t think that’s enough irrespective of how the wicket is. Anything below 130 is difficult to defend but what I asked the bowlers to do was show a lot of character, put the opposition under pressure and forget about the result. I thought both the fast-bowlers did really well. I think a game like this really helps them. Irrespective of how we start we need to have the same attitude and that’s what you need in the shorter formats.”
With this defeat, the defending champions crashed out of the 15th edition of the tournament. This is the second time in IPL history that the Super Kings have failed to qualify for the playoffs.
“Important is to fill in whatever gaps are there” – MS Dhoni on the positive from this season
The departure of Faf du Plessis and Shardul Thakur and the absence of the injured Deepak Chahar didn’t help the team’s cause and Chennai faltered this season.
MS Dhoni highlighted that the need to fill in the gaps ahead of the next season. He concluded:
“Quite a few positives to take into the next season but what’s important is to fill in whatever gaps are there so that the leakage doesn’t happen.”
Chennai Super Kings play their next game against table-toppers Gujarat Titans (GT) on Sunday at the Wankhede Stadium.