The Chennai Super Kings were looking to keep their winning run going on their return to the IPL when they faced the Kings Eleven Punjab led by former CSK man R Ashwin. But, unfortunately, they failed to chase down the target of 198.
KXIP rode the belligerent Chris Gayle’s half century as they posted a challenging total, before restricting their high-flying opponents to 193. Picking out the turning points of their first defeat of the season, CSK captain, MS Dhoni said Christ Gayle was a major factor, as was the brilliant spell by the young teenager Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Dhoni who made 79 from 44 balls led the chase from the front and but could not take his team over the line like his used to doing.
Dhoni said, “They bowled very well, Mujeeb made a difference. I don’t think there was much dew on the ground. They played better than us. We can improve in few areas. Chris’ innings in the first innings and Mujeeb’s bowling made a difference. It was a close game. We will be a safe fielding team and not be an exceptional one. We have to be smart while bowling. We want to keep hitting boundaries here and there and that can make a difference. All the games we have been part of were close, so individuals would have learnt from that.”
Dhoni also said that the decision to not bring West Indian Dwayne Bravo up the order was taken by the in the dugout. “Stephen Fleming is in the dugout so he needs to take the decision. We have confidence in Jadeja because he being a left-hander is not easy for the bowlers. This is the time we need to give him the opportunity. If Jadeja can do the job of the floater that would be really good for the team as we have Raina at the top of the order. I will back him as we have not given him many opportunities.”
Gayle, who was awarded the man of the match, was understandably elated. He revealed that he was informed he would be playing over a text and that he was happy that the start was good.
“I am very happy that I have got off to a winning startfor this new franchise. That’s Chris Gayle for you – hitting just fours and sixes and not worrying about ones and twos. Rahul took pressure off me at times as well. I am feeling like 25, the Universe Boss is back,” Gayle said.