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IPL 2020: After CSK suffer 1st loss, MS Dhoni explains why he batted at No. 7 vs RR

MS Dhoni
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MS Dhoni

Highlights

MS Dhoni said he promoted himself down the order during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) because he wanted to give opportunities to Sam Curran.

MS Dhoni said he promoted himself down the order during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) because he wanted to give opportunities to Sam Curran.

Batting first RR posted a mammoth total of 216 for 7 in 20 overs, courtesy of half-centuries from Sanju Samson, captain Steven Smith, and Jofra Archer's cameo of 25 from just eight balls.

Chasing the target, openers Murali Vijay and Shane Watson powered CSK to 56 at the end of the powerplay overs. CSK spinner Rahul Tewatia broke the stand by removing Watson in the seven over. The former Australian batsman walked back to the pavilion after scoring a 21-ball 33. South Africa's Faf du Plessis joined Vijay in the middle before the latter got out two deliveries later.

Tewatia made two back-to-back breakthroughs in the ninth over to remove Sam Curran and debutant Ruturaj Gaikwad. Even at 77 for 4, Dhoni did not come out, instead it was Kedar Jadhav, who took the crease. Jadhav added another 37 runs with du Plessis before Tom Curran got him caught behind in the 14th over. That's when CSK skipper came out to bat, at No. 7.

Du Plessis once again produced a stellar performance as he tore apart RR"s bowling attack. He hammered seven sixes and one four before Archer turned the tables once again, in the favour of RR, by bagging the wicket of on-fire du Plessis. From there on, CSK needed 38 runs to win from seven deliveries.

After CSK grabbed two singles off the first two balls, Dhoni smashed three consecutive sixes, but by then it was too late. The former Indian skipper, who was playing professional cricket after a gap of 14 months, received mixed reactions on social media.

During the post-match interview, Dhoni hailed Smith and Man of the Match Samson for their knocks in the first innings.

"With 217 on the board, we needed a very good start which was not the case. Steve and Samson batted very well. Need to give credit to their bowlers. Once you've seen the first innings, you know the length to bowl. Their spinners did well to bowl away from the batsman. Our spinners made the error to bowl too full. If we would've maybe restricted them to 200, it would've been a good game," said Dhoni.

When asked about batting down the order at No. 7, Dhoni explained," I haven't batted for a long time. 14-day quarantine doesn't help (why he isn't batting higher). Also wanted to try different things, give opportunities to Sam. Have the opportunity to try different things. If it doesn't work, you can always go back to your strengths. Faf adapted very well. Something the batsmen will do, neglect square leg, and go more towards long-on and long-off."

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