IPL 2023: ‘When you keep playing same players, it helps’, says Dhoni after CSK qualifies for playoffs

IPL 2023: ‘When you keep playing same players, it helps’, says Dhoni after CSK qualifies for playoffs

  • CSK defeated DC by 77 runs on Saturday
  • CSK have qualified for IPL 2023 playoffs
  • Ruturaj and Conway put up 141 runs for the first wicket

MS Dhoni has given some boosting statements after Chennai Super Kings (CSK) qualified for the playoffs of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 on Saturday.

CSK became the second team to make it to the knockout round after they thrashed Delhi Capitals (DC) by 77 runs at Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. CSK finished second in the IPL 2023 table with 17 points from 14 games, meaning they’ll have two chances of making it to the final. Reigning champions Gujarat Titans (GT) were the first team to make it to the playoffs as they have 18 points from 13 games.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, who scored a 50-ball 79, was named the Player of the Match as he struck seven sixes and three fours and scored runs at a strike-rate of 158. His opening partner Devon Conway top scored for CSK with his knock of 87 off 52 balls, including three sixes and 11 fours at a strike-rate of 167.31. The two put up 141 runs for the first wicket before Gaikwad got out in the 15th over. Batting first, CSK scored 223 for 3 in 20 overs.

In reply, DC captain David Warner led from the front as he scored 58-ball 86, including five sixes and seven fours. But he ran out of partners as DC, who are already out of IPL 2023, managed just 146 for 9 in 20 overs.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, Dhoni stated that it always helps when a team keeps playing the same players and groom them in the areas where they are weak.

“There is no recipe for success, you try and pick the best players and give them the best slot to perform. And groom them in the areas where they are not strong, somebody has to sacrifice their slot for the team. Credit to the management as well, they always back us.

“But, the players are most important, without the players, we can't do anything. I think death bowling, and confidence is very important. Tushar has developed because he is able to execute under pressure, he has the confidence now. And when you keep playing the same players, it helps,” added Dhoni.

The CSK skipper also credited his bowlers, who he said have “taken the responsibility.”

“I think the bowlers have also taken the responsibility, Pathirana is quite a natural to bowling at the death but Deshpande has really developed there. I think we need to figure out and pick players who are team first - not bothered about individual performance and perform the best at knockout stages. It is difficult to judge from the outside, we try and adjust to the players and environment as well. Even if they come 10%, we can adjust 50% to fit them better into the team,” said Dhoni.

David Warner: ‘We can’t keep blaming wickets’

Meanwhile, DC captain Warner admitted that CSK “outbatted” his side and the hosts failed to build partnerships and lost wickets regularly despite the pitch being batting-friendly.

“Credit to CSK, they outbatted us today. We did see that it was a good pitch, boundaries early in the over and we could have put more pressure on their bowlers. There were some positives, we didn't go too badly with the ball, with the bat we didn't get partnerships, lost wickets in clumps, we lost some games badly and that hurt, we'll have to look at these things and come back strongly next season,” said Warner.

Speaking further on where DC need to improve for next season, the Aussie added, “We can't keep blaming the wickets, we have been getting some of these this season. We have to adapt to the conditions however tough it might be. You have to back your game plan, hit boundaries and use your feet against spin. You can't get bogged down against any bowlers, partnerships would have been handy. I want to be consistent at the top of the order, you need to have a good SR to give yourself a chance, but we kept losing too many wickets in the batting powerplay, these are some of the things we need to think about.”

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