IPL 2023: MS Dhoni Pep Talk To Ajinkya Rahane Before He Went Out To Bat

Rahane revealed he was included in the playing 11 at the last minute after it was learned that Ben Stokes is unfit to play the match. MS Dhoni gave him all the backing as the Mumbaikar, who has been out of the Indian team for a while now, scored a match-winning 60 after Ravindra Jadeja and bowlers gave a tough time to Mumbai Indians batters restricted them at 157/8.

MS Dhoni

“Me and Jinx (Rahane) spoke at the start of the season and I told him to play to his strengths, use your ability to manipulate the fields,” MS Dhoni said at the post-match press conference. “I told him to go and enjoy, don’t take stress and we’ll back you. He batted well and he was not happy with the way he got out, that says it all.”

Tushar Deshpande had a great outing too as he clean-bowled Rohit Sharma with a brilliant delivery. Dhoni credited him for making a good comeback in IPL after having a strong domestic season, which helped Dhoni grow his confidence in the pacer.

“(On Tushar Deshpande) We believe in him, and when you’re new you are under pressure but playing in the IPL for a few years brings different pressure. He had a great domestic season, he is improving,” said MS Dhoni.

The skipper further added the win wasn’t easy as it looks as they lost their strike bowler Deepak Chahar after he bowled just an over in the game and were left with an inexperienced pace line-up led by debutant Sisanda Magala.

“Feels good (to win). Not to forget we lost Deepak in the first over. He’s our new ball bowler and Mangala playing his first ball. The good thing is spinners bowled well. It was a bit two paced after 7 overs, started turning. The spinners and the fast bowlers came back well. Mangala was good and so was Pretorious,” MS Dhoni said.

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