CLT20: 'Dhana-dhan' Dhoni likes to share the credit for team win!
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is never shy of giving credit where it is due. And, the Chennai Super Kings skipper showered big praise on teammates Suresh Raina (84 off 57) and S Badrinath (13 off 18) despite his own awe-inspiring performance in their Champions League Twenty20 match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Ranchi on Thursday.
Raina and Badrinath added 70 runs for the third-wicket partnership in just 46 balls before Dhoni slammed a blazing 63 off just 19 deliveries to help Chennai post a total of 202 for 4 which the Sunrisers Hyderabad failed to surpass – Hyderabad fell short by 12 runs.
Dhoni’s lightening-quick innings was inclusive of eight massive sixes and one boundary.
Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni hits a six against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday
'Badrinath, Raina set up a perfect platform for me to hit hard'
"We got off to a good start and it was important to build on that. A total of 180+ was easily chased here, so, considering the perfect platform we got from Badrinath and Raina, I looked to hit hard and it worked," Dhoni said.
Chasing a daunting 203-run target, Sunrisers came close to recording an unlikely win before settling at 190 for seven.
Sunrisers skipper Shikhar Dhawan also whole-heartedly praised CSK skipper Dhoni for his whirlwind knock.
"We thought 170-180 was a par score but Dhoni bhai played an amazing knock. Yorkers didn't work and you needed to bowl variation here. He played a special knock."
Image: MS Dhoni hits a shot against Hyderabad on Thursday
'I feel there were situations where we could have closed the overs well'
Dhoni was also pleased with his bowlers.
"The wicket was good as the game progressed. There was more dew on the field later on and the ball was coming on nicely. It was difficult for the fast bowlers to execute but they used variations. I think the bowlers did a good job but I feel there were situations where we could have closed the overs well, say after giving a boundary in the first few balls of the over," he said.
Dhoni expressed satisfaction with the wicket and said, "The credit goes to the pitch. As u see these days, boundaries are not very big in T20s so it was a good wicket."
Image: MS Dhoni takes a catch to dismiss Hyderabad's Ashish Reddy
'It's always good to bat at No.3'
Man-of-the-match Suresh Raina attributed his success to India coach Duncan Fletcher.
"I've worked very hard with Duncan in the last six months and he's been telling me to play with a clear mind. The tour of South Africa worked very well for me. I hope to continue to perform like this."
"It's always good to bat at No.3, because then you get 18-19 overs to play."
He then went on to credit Dhoni and fast bowler Jason Holder for the win.
"Dhoni batted very well and Jason bowled in the right areas. Jason has been working very hard, there's a lot of cricket coming up so we'll look to win more matches."
Image: Suresh Raina bats against Hyderabad on Thursday
'Losing three quick wickets changed the match'
Dhawan said losing three wickets in middle of the innings turned the tide against them.
"The way Parthiv and I were batting, we gave a good start but we lost three wickets quickly which changed the match," he said.
Dhawan said he is enjoying the current phase of his batting.
"I'm enjoying my batting and I've been in good form so I'm enjoying it. It was a good challenge under pressure but I want to win more games. We've got a very strong side, all the players are good fighters and we can trouble any team."
Image: Shikhar Dhawan hits a shot against Chennai Super Kings on Thursday