Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was left ruing the four-wicket defeat to Punjab Kings in their own den, saying the bowlers need to be more aware of the situation and also indicated that the execution was probably “bad”.
CSK had a good chance of victory after posting 200 for four at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, thanks chiefly to another Devon Conway special of unbeaten 92, but the Shikhar Dhawan-led side hit the winning runs off the last ball to silence the yellow brigade on Sunday.
“We lost it in a couple of overs in the middle. You need to be aware what you need to bowl and be clear because the batters will be going for it (big hits). (Matheesha) Pathirana bowled well but other than that, we need to see if the plans were wrong or the execution was bad,” said Dhoni.
Barring openers Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad (37), none of the other batters could make an impact and Dhoni felt his team could have scored another 10 runs.
“We should be doing better with the bat. The pitch had turn, there was some turn when it hit the seam. The slower balls gripped. I think, 200 (runs) was par. Also towards the end of our innings, could we have got 10 more?” he questioned.
Winning team skipper Shikhar Dhawan said it was a special feeling defeating CSK in Chennai and praised wicket-keeper Jitesh Sharma (21 off 10 balls) and Liam Livingstone (40 off 24) coming to the party.
“It feels very, very special beating Chennai in Chennai. I am very happy with the way we played. It shows great character of our side to bounce back from that loss, and leaving it behind.
“All credit goes to the team and the support staff. I was very happy at the way the bowlers bowled. At first when I saw, I thought the wicket was dry but it had good bounce. As a captain, I wanted Liam to play more overs. And Jitesh too. The good sign is that all the boys are performing,” said Shikhar, who was involved in a 50-run partnership at the top with Prabhsimran Singh.
‘Player of the match’ Conway would be disappointed with the loss as the New Zealander’s fifth half-century in IPL 2023 and his highest score this season — an unbeaten 92 — went in vein.
“We thought 200 was a very competitive total so a little bit disappointed that we lost this one,” said Conway.
On his successful run, Conway said he likes to keep things simple.
“We felt it (wicket) was a little bit slow when you hit the wicket. I try not to over-complicate things. I try to keep things as simple as possible.
“I try and work as closely as I can with (batting coach) Mike Hussey. Along with the other players, we have got a lot of experience in our camp. Just try to work with them,” he said.