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IPL 2024: ‘Young’ Keeper Dhoni’s 3 Sixes Made the Difference – Ruturaj Gaikwad

IPL 2024: Ruturaj Gaikwad feels 'young' MS Dhoni's 3 sixes made the difference in CSK's win over Mumbai Indians.

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Chennai Super Kings secured their fourth consecutive triumph over Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL), handing fellow five-time champions a 20-run defeat at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday (14 April).

Whilst many commendable individual performances had a part to play in Chennai’s victory, captain Ruturaj Gaikwad felt ‘young’ wicketkeeper MS Dhoni’s three sixes proved to be the differentiating factor between the two teams.

Notably, Chennai were 186/4 after 19.2 overs, with chances of scoring north of 200 runs looking slim, when MS Dhoni walked out to bat. The next four deliveries saw the former CSK and India skipper at his vintage best, as he struck three sixes and a couple off Hardik Pandya’s bowling. It propelled Chennai’s score to 206/4.
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Speaking about the importance of Dhoni’s knock, Gaikwad stated:

The young wicketkeeper (MS Dhoni) scoring those three sixes helped us a lot. That proved to be the difference. On this kind of ground, we needed those 10-15 extra runs. We were looking at 215-220, but Bumrah bowled really well.

Gaikwad Calls Matheesha Pathirana 'CSK's Malinga'

Although Chennai would not have breached the 200-run mark had it not been for Dhoni’s efforts, they still needed their bowlers to be at their best to defend the total on a ground which is known for significantly facilitating teams during chases, owing to dew.

Matheesha Pathirana delivered just what the doctor ordered for CSK, picking up four wickets and conceding only 28 runs in his four-over spell. Calling him CSK’s very own ‘Malinga’, Gaikwad said:

As for our bowling, I feel we were spot on with our execution, despite them playing some great shots. Even in the powerplay, I would have taken six overs for 60 in the powerplay. These kinds of venues demand both batting and bowling skills. Our Malinga (Matheesha Pathirana) bowled exceptionally well and nailed those yorkers. Not to forget, Tushar and Shardul also bowled well. We encourage everyone to be in a good headspace.
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CSK Captain Explains Why Ajinkya Rahane Opened the Innings

There was a surprise when Chennai came out to bat as Ajinkya Rahane was sent to open the innings alongside Rachin Ravindra, with Gaikwad batting at three. On being asked about the rationale behind the decision, the CSK skipper stated Rahane was carrying a niggle.

Jinks was carrying a bit of a niggle, so we thought it was better for him to open and get away some quick runs. I'm fine batting anywhere. Plus I have added responsibility as the team captain.

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