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IPL 2021: Ruturaj Gaikwad and Dwayne Bravo got us more than what we expected – MS Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni said Ruturaj Gaikwad and Dwayne Bravo “got us more than we expected” after his team was 24 for four at one point during Sunday’s IPL match against the Mumbai Indians. Gaikwad made an unbeaten 88 while Bravo, batting at number eight, made 23 off only eight balls as CSK made 156 for six after opting to bat first. CSK defeated MI by 20 runs as the total was more than enough.

“At 30 for 4, you want to put up a respectable score. Rutu and Bravo got us more than we expected. We thought of 140, but to get close to 160 was commendable,” said Dhoni at the post-match presentation ceremony. Rayudu got injured, so coming back from that was difficult, but we batted sensibly and finished superbly. I think it was sensible for one batter to bat all the way through.

Dhoni said about the wicket, “It was two paced and a bit slow to begin with. Also, it’s difficult batting lower down if you don’t get a chance to see what’s happening, so you want to go hard.”

Dhoni also said Ambati Rayudu, who retired hurt after getting hit while batting, should be fine by the next match.

Gaikwad was declared the Player of the Match and said it was one of his best knocks. I had to grind it out, bat for 10-12 overs, and then push for 120-130, and then slowly 140-150 was possible. It was a matter of staying in the middle,” he said.

Mahi bhai, once the CSK management has backed you, they don’t let you think anything but good thoughts. The Sri Lanka tour and preparation here helped a lot.”

Kieron Pollard, MI’s stand-in captain, also had high praise for Gaikwad. “Ruturaj batted really well. In Twenty20 cricket, if one person bats through, he can hurt you. We didn’t finish the game well with the ball. Losing by 20 runs, you know those runs were the extra runs we conceded.”

The pitch was not to blame for the defeat, but poor batting was. “The surface was good, the new ball had movement, our seamers got early wickets, and their batters tried to continue their momentum throughout. We didn’t let them.”

The fact they got 150+ is irrelevant in the scheme of things. We could have scored more. Losing three wickets was a cardinal sin for us. Saurabh (Tiwary, 50 not out) batted well in the circumstances,” he said.

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