Amid the tenacity the men in yellow had shown in chasing a huge target set by the Rajasthan Royals, the Chennai Super Kings conceded the defeat after the Royals had won the match by 16 runs. One of the larger factors that was linked to the defeat of the Super Kings was Dhoni's decision to bat at the low order with having a mammoth target on board.
On Tuesday, Chennai Super Kings took on Rajasthan Royals in Sharjah Cricket Stadium, which was the fourth match of the league. With Rajasthan playing its first match of the season and with Chennai's strong confidence after defeating the defending champions Mumbai Indians at the tournament opener, yesterday's match was on the spotlight, and from the toss to the presentation ceremony, the match was not under the control of Dhoni's army.
Batting first, the Royals had put 216 runs on board with the smashing partnership between Sanju Samson and Steven Smith. With the massive chase, Dhoni's fleet took the crease only to met with the defeat as the Super Kings had ended up by putting 200 runs and opened its account under the 'lost' category. During the chasing, Dhoni came into bat at No 7, which had surprised many as it was expected that he would be batting at the top order in helping the team to keep the victory.
However, he came to the crease and scored 29 runs off 17 balls with three sixes in the last over, which ultimately had gone in vain. While the narrow defeat had disappointed the Super Kings fans, Dhoni was surfaced with the question of why he has decided to bat at the low order and the legendary captain has responded on what's the reason behind his decision.
While addressing the reporters, MS Dhoni said that the extended two-week quarantine for the team and the long gap away from the game had hindered his preparations for the match as he didn't have enough time for batting practice. He said, "I haven't batted for a long time and a 14-day quarantine doesn't help".
Dhoni attributed the absence of important training sessions to the two-week quarantine period which had come as the sequel after 13 members of Chennai Super Kings including the players and staff had tested positive for the COVID-19 viral infection. The team was ought to face deference from holding the important training sessions after the members were mandated to stay under the quarantine period.
Dhoni stated that "With 217 on the board, we needed a very good start, but that was not the case. Steven Smith and Sanju Samson batted very well and We need to give credit to their bowlers. Once you've seen the first innings, you know the lengths to bowl". "Their spinners did well to bowl away from the batsman. Our spinners made the error to bowl too full and if we would've maybe restricted them to 200, it would've been a good game", Dhoni added.
Legendary Indian Captain Dhoni has on last month announced his retirement from the international cricket and the opening match of the IPL was the first game for Dhoni to play since he announced his retirement. Dhoni had also returned to the field after 437 days as the last match he played was the semi-finals of the 2019 ICC World Cup against New Zealand.