IPL 2019: Match 12, CSK vs RR – Rajasthan Royals' directionless tactics against MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni finished unbeaten on 75 from only 46 deliveries in which he hit four fours and four maximums.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sampath Bandarupalli

Sr. Statistician

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The Rajasthan Royals had themselves to blame in many ways during their loss to the Chennai Super Kings by eight runs. The visiting team had CSK reduced to 27/3 by the 5th over but allowed them to finish on 175/5. The Royals failed to stop MS Dhoni who smashed an unbeaten 46-ball 75 and helped them score 60 runs from the last three overs. His knock put CSK’s total at least 10-15 runs ahead of what was needed which made a difference in the end.

Things that RR needed to keep a note of:

MS Dhoni is someone who chooses his targets and becomes even more dangerous when he bats through the innings. The Rajasthan Royals had such a scenario in their hand as Dhoni scored only 29 off 27 balls ahead of the last five overs. They needed to tighten the things for the veteran as every run from his bat would cost them on what considered to be a rank turner. Jofra Archer had two overs remaining while the other three overs were up to Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Stokes and Dhawal Kulkarni.

The finisher punishes:

Holding back Unadkat and Kulkarni for the death overs against Dhoni was not a wise move. The CSK skipper is well known for smashing a particular set of Indian pacers in the IPL. Unadkat dismissed Dhoni once during the IPL in the past but has conceded 44 runs in only 19 balls with three fours and three maximums. Against Kulkarni too Dhoni has a decent record in the IPL having scored 33 from 20 balls with five fours but never got out.

However, Dhoni scored only 13 from ten deliveries against Jofra in this game with two fours but the impressive fact here is the faceoff between them happen during the death overs. Even in the previous edition, Archer gave away 12 off 8 balls with a boundary while bowling at the death to MSD. The Royals trusted the Indian pacers and had to pay the price as the duo of Kulkarni and Unadkat conceded 24 and 28 runs respectively in their last overs.

Dhoni scored 11 from 5 balls and 35 off 13 deliveries respectively against Dhawal and Jaydev. Rather than saving an extra over of both the medium-fast pacers at the death against Dhoni, the Royals could have chipped in an over or two from the spinners Krishnappa Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal. Bowling with Ben Stokes could have been a better idea as he conceded 30 runs in the three overs but during the powerplay overs.

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