How Ruturaj’s Eyes Told Dhoni He Wasn’t Rattled, Despite Poor Run

MS Dhoni’s CSK beat KKR by 18 runs for their third win of IPL 2021.

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IPL
2 min read
MS Dhoni’s CSK beat KKR by 18 runs for their third win of IPL 2021.
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Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni on Wednesday said that his habit of applying psychology to his captaincy helped him in judging young opener Ruturaj Gaikwad’s state of mind.

The 24-year-old had been having a poor run so far this IPL 2021 but came good on Wednesday as he scored 62 off 42 balls to play a key role in CSK's win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

"Rutu showed his class in the last IPL. You always need to assess where he is mentally. Once when he was off guard, I asked him how are you feeling today. When you put a question like that, you wait for the reactions, you see what's in his eyes," said Dhoni after the match on Wednesday.

“There was enough in his reactions to suggest he wasn’t rattled. That’s what I’ve been doing all my life (applying psychology) but in a good way,” added Dhoni.  
Ruturaj Gaikwad was also part of a 115-run opening partnership with Faf du Plessis against KKR.
Ruturaj Gaikwad was also part of a 115-run opening partnership with Faf du Plessis against KKR.
(Photo: BCCI)

In Wednesday’s evening game, CSK had taken early initiative and looked like they would cruise to an easy win.

After making 220/3 in their 20 overs, they reduced KKR to 31 for 5 Eoin Morgan’s side then needed 190 off the last 88 balls.

However, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins and Dinesh Karthik played sensational knocks to take KKR within close range of CSK’s target. The trio brought the equation for KKR down to 45 off 24 balls.

"From the 16th over onwards, the contest was between the fast bowler and the batsman. You can't do too much. Can't put different field. It's about you vs me. The side that has one is a side that has executed slightly better. But if they would've had more wickets, could've been different," said Dhoni.

The CSK skipper, who also received the news of his parents getting admitted to hospital for Covid-19, said cricket had taught him to be humble and not take things easily.

"Have seen enough in cricket, always like to be humble. There's no good reason if you have scored, the opposition can't score. My lines to the players was that we have got good runs on the board but let's be humble."

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