'I was not able to middle a lot of deliveries. Was trying to hit it too hard.'
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings again fell short despite having him at the crease at the crunch.
Reflecting on the team’s loss to SunRisers Hyderabad, in Dubai on Friday, the skipper said he was trying to hit the ball too hard when timing it was a better option.
Chasing 166 for victory, Chennai lost by seven runs, with Dhoni unbeaten on 47 off 36 balls.
He went after the bowlers too late.
"I was not able to middle a lot of deliveries. Was trying to hit it too hard. When the wicket is slightly on the slower side, it is better to time it. Looking at the outfield, it was subconsciously coming to us to hit the ball hard," Dhoni said, after the Super Kings’s third defeat in four matches.
Asked about his struggle towards the end, as he seemed to have lost steam in searing heat, he replied: "I tried to get as much as time as possible. It is quite dry out here. So the throat gets dry and you start to cough. When you have legal signs, you can take some time off."
Dhoni made three changes to his playing eleven but could not arrest the slide.
He acknowledged they need to find solutions.
"Long time back, once we lost three in a row. We need to get a lot of things right. It is the professionalism. We need to take our catches, not bowl no-balls. Those are the controllables and, maybe, we are getting too relaxed.
"We have been a bit too relaxed at times. After the 16th over, we had two good overs but, overall, we could have been slightly better.
"Nobody wants to drop catches, but at the same at this level we need to draw a line and say these catches that need to be taken especially when the team hasn't been doing that outstandingly well," he said referring to spilled chances when SunRisers’s Abhishek Sharma was batting.
"Catches like these can hamper your knock-out stage games. It is very important to be at your best. There are plenty of positives in this game but we will try to come back strong."
SunRisers skipper David Warner took a big gamble by asking 18-year-old Abdul Samad to bowl the final over when CSK needed 28 runs. The Australian defended his decision.
"I backed him (Samad). I had no option. We tried to kill the game in the 19th over with Khaleel there with five balls to bowl. Could have given it to Abhishek, but Samad, with his height and the way he bowled tonight, he had to bowl the last one," said Warner.
He also praised Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma for their gritty batting under pressure.
"It's my message to the youngsters, to go out there and score some runs. These guys assessed the conditions and played well, so really really proud of them."