The legendary India cricketer – who is leading CSK in the ongoing IPL 2023 – on Friday (April 21) created a big buzz by dropping a major hint about his IPL career, saying ‘It’s the last phase of my career’.
After defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets in a largely one-sided contest at MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday, CSK jumped to the third spot in the team standings with eight points.
New Zealand batter Devon Conway slammed his third half-century of this season after Ravindra Jadeja claimed a three-for to pave way for an easy win for the four-time champions.
Chasing 134/7, CSK scored the winning runs with eight balls to spare with Conway scoring an unbeaten 57-ball 77 and sharing an 87-run partnership with Ruturaj Gaikwad (35) for the opening wicket.
Overcome by the huge roar and support of the crowd when he came out of the dugout after his team won the match, Dhoni said, “All said and done, it’s the last phase of my career, however long I play.
“After two years, the fans have had the opportunity to come here and watch, feels good to be here. The crowd has given us a lot of love and affection,” said Dhoni at the post-match presentation at Chepauk.
Talking more about his team’s performance against the Sunrisers, Dhoni revealed he didn’t want to bat second on the slow Chepauk track, which tends to get slower as the match progresses but credited the spinners for ensuring they had a below-par total to chase.
“I was hesitant to bat second. Had the feeling there won’t be much dew. It was slightly cloudy. The spinners, once they came in, they bowled a very good length. Overall the middle overs were the setup. Fast bowlers bowled very well in the last few overs.”
Dhoni was all praise for young Sri Lankan pace bowler Matheesha Pathirana, who bowled four superb overs and grabbed two wickets for 22 runs.
“You need time to pick his action (Pathirana). He has got variation, he has got good pace. We have seen with Malinga – someone who has awkward action and who is very consistent with line and length – it’s difficult to score off him. Definitely, he has been a find,” he added further.
Conway said CSK were trying to perfect a winning template after yet another dominating display. Conway, who turned the match into a no-contest with his unbeaten half-ton, added that the below-par score of 134 set by SRH made the home team take fewer risks while chasing.
Though CSK completed the task in 18.4 overs, they could have finished the job much earlier but they chose caution over aggression at the M Chidambaram Stadium.
“Nice to be there in the end and get the win. The plan for us is simple. Every game doesn’t change too much. Play good cricket shows in the powerplay and put the bowlers under pressure. We try and look to repeat that regardless of what the score is,” said Conway.
“We probably got the best of the conditions, probably (the ball) didn’t hold as much as it did in the first innings. (The) pitch we experienced in Bangalore (against RCB) was a lot better. We knew we didn’t have to be too reckless here,” Conway said.
(With PTI inputs)
Get breaking news alerts.
You have already subscribed