CSK Coach Stephen Fleming Explains MS Dhoni’s Batting Approach Against Delhi Capitals

There are not many better than the great Mahendra Singh Dhoni when it comes to game awareness and that reflected in his maiden outing with the bat this IPL season, said Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming. The margin of defeat for CSK’s first loss of the season would have been bigger than 20 runs if it was not for Dhoni’s unbeaten 37 off 16 balls at number eight. Dhoni’s cameo against the Delhi Capitals included a thundering six over extra-cover before he unleashed a one-handed maximum over mid-wicket in the 20th over.

The 42-year-old, who last played for India in 2019, had undergone a knee surgery last year.

“It was beautiful wasn’t it? He has been playing incredibly well pre-season. He is coming back from quite a serious injury. His batting has been superb. it gave us a positive vibe towards the end of a tough day.

“To get within 20 (runs of the target) run rate wise is important and he knows that. The way he played was spectacular,” said the former New Zealand captain at the post match press conference on Sunday.

On the first loss of the season, Fleming added: “The result today is a fair reflection of the team’s play tonight. We were a little bit off tonight, we were slow at start in the first six overs of each innings. We gave away too many runs in the first six when we bowled.

“When we batted, they were very good, created pressure and used the conditions very well. The little cameos from David Warner and Rishabh Pant pushed them to a very good score (191/5).”

Was waiting for a long time to perform: Khaleel

Left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed’s burst with the new ball put CSK on the backfoot from the outset.

“I was waiting for a long time to perform for the team. When I started, I realised I was getting good swing, so I just backed it up and didn’t allow the opposition any chance,” said Ahmed.

“The more you play, the more you understand your game. The same happened with me as I have been playing continuously for six months, I got to understand my game plans, my body and managing to play in small niggles.

“It all came due to the domestic season, it gave me good confidence before coming into the IPL and it’s been a great feeling.”

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