IPL 2021: 'He plays authentic shots,' Dhoni hails Ruturaj after CSK qualify for final
- Ruturaj scored 70 during CSK’s chase on Sunday
- CSK defeated DC by 4 wickets in IPL 2021’s Qualifier 1
- CSK are set to play in the IPL final for the ninth time
MS Dhoni hailed Ruturaj Gaikwad, saying the opener plays "authentic shots" and is a talented batsman after he led Chennai Super Kings to the final of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 on Sunday.
Gaikwad scored 70 off 50 balls in CSK's successful chase of 173 against Delhi Capitals (DC) at the Dubai International Cricket Ground.
After failing to qualify for the playoffs last season, Dhoni's CSK have bounced back as they are set to play in the IPL final for the ninth time.
"It was a crucial innings. They were using the bigger boundary very well. Nothing special, just watch the ball and hit the ball. I haven't done a lot in the tournament. So you want to get that out of the system. If you are batting well in the nets, just look for the ball, what are the variations, where the bowler could bowl. Other than that there was nothing much in the mind. If there are too many things floating around, it becomes difficult to watch the ball," said Dhoni at the post-match presentation in Dubai.
CSK sent the likes of Shardul Thakur, Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu above Ravindra Jadeja. Speaking about it, Dhoni said," We are one side that hasn't done that a lot. Even with Deepak, we bat till 9. With the way Shardul has been batting recently or even Deepak, both can contribute. When a batsman goes in, he will think twice before hitting the first ball for a boundary, but if a Shardul or a Deepak goes in, they can look to get a boundary from the first ball. And even if they get one or two hits away, it could be a big impact because the run difference is only 15-20 runs."
Robin Uthappa, who came in at No. 3 for CSK on Sunday, played a crucial knock of 63 off 44. He struck seven fours and two sixes.
Speaking about CSK's No. 3 batsman, Dhoni joked that they have left it on "god" to decide who'll bat at the vital position for them.
"He [Uthappa] is somebody who likes to bat up the order. Mo has done very well for us at 3. So we have left it open. Whoever gets out, one of you will bat at 3. We have just left it to god how we decide that (smiles). We have to (leave it to god) because we can't decide. Depends on which opener gets out against which opposition we are playing," added Dhoni.
" I had a conversation with him [Ruturaj] after one of the games. It was around why should an opener bat only till the 10th over. Why not till the 18th over. He is somebody who plays authentic shots. He is a good talent. It's the full team. It was tough when we didn't qualify last time. Emotions were high. Credit goes to the support staff and everyone in the team," the CSK skipper further added.
Meanwhile, DC have another chance at the final. They will next take on the winner of the match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Qualifier 2 of the IPL 2021.