MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) suffered a seven-run loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday. This was their third defeat in a row this season. The three-time champions are placed at the bottom of the table with two points from four matches.
SRH youngster Priyam Garg displayed a stunning performance against CSK. Priyam and Abhishek Sharma rescued SRH from a disastrous start and enabled the team to post 164 runs in 20 overs. Priyam smashed 51 runs in just 26 balls while Abhishek made a gutsy 31 after witnessing a bad start.
MS Dhoni, playing a record 194th IPL game, came in to bat at number 5 in only the 6th over of the chase. He had enough balls at his disposal, a manageable target and trusted aide in Ravindra Jadeja (50) but again his attack came too late. It was Jadeja who took CSK closer to the target before getting out while Dhoni struggled in their 72-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Dhoni admitted that he was "not able to middle a lot of deliveries". "I was not able to middle a lot of deliveries, maybe trying to hit the ball too hard. Looking at the outfield, it was subconscious. I'm alright, the throat begins to dry in these conditions," said Dhoni during the post-match presentation.
Meanwhile, CSK coach Stephen Fleming lost his cool during the post-match press conference to a question on MS Dhoni's batting position against SRH.
When a reporter asked Fleming, "What was the thought process behind sending Kedar Jadhav ahead of MS Dhoni?" The former New Zealand skipper defended the decision saying the right-handed batsman is a number four batsman while the CSK skipper is a middle to backend player.
"Really? I said really, it's a question? Well he's (Kedar Jadhav) our number four, Dhoni primarily is a middle-to-backend player. Kedar Jadhav is our No.4, he plays dual roles where if we get off to a good start, he might move down and let Dhoni up but when your losing early wickets then your No.4 batsman goes in so... You can't keep, no I'll stop there," said Fleming.