MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) suffered a seven-run defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday. This was their third consecutive defeat this season. The three-time champions are reeling at the bottom of the table with two points from four matches.
Chasing a modest 165, CSK lost quick wickets early in the innings. MS Dhoni, playing a record 194th IPL game, came in to bat at number 5 in only the 6th over. 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.
At the fag end of MS Dhoni's innings, the attacking batsman was seen struggling due to the searing heat in UAE. He was also coughing and gasping during the run-chase. “I tried to get as much as time as possible. It is quite dry out here. So, the throat gets dry and you start to cough. When you have legal signs, you can take some time off," Dhoni said after the match.
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.
Also, CSK fielders were sloppy in the field. Abhishek got dropped twice in the 18th over, first by Ravindra Jadeja and then by Shardul Thakur.
Dhoni said that dropping catches like these hampers one's chances in knockout games (must-win matches). The former Indian skipper asserted that there are many positives from the game and the side will make a strong comeback.
"Long time back, we may or may not have lost three in a row. We have to get a lot of things right. It's the professionalism -- dropping catches, bowling no-balls. We're making the same mistakes again," said Dhoni.
"After the 16th over, we had two bad overs. Overall we could have been slightly better. Nobody wants to drop catches, but at this level, you have to draw a line that these catches have to be taken. Catches like these can really hamper your knockout games. What if this was a knockout game? There are many positives in this game. A few areas to improve and we'll come back stronger," he added.
CSK will next lock horns with Kings XI Punjab on Sunday.
(With input from agencies)