Kings XI started well with the ‘Universe Boss’, Chris Gayle turning back the clock to show some vintage hitting on his debut for the Kings.
Punjab ended up with a huge total of 197 in their quota of 20 overs which looked like a comfortable total for the majority part of the match.
Kings XI controlled the proceedings of the second innings till the 17th over until MS Dhoni cut loose and took his side within touching distance of the target.
Dhoni scored a valiant 79 off just 44 deliveries which included five sixes and six fours. However, all was not merry for the former Indian skipper, as he struggled with a back problem throughout his innings.
Dhoni took help from the Chennai medical staff at regular intervals and was also seen taking pain-killers during the break.
The wicket-keeper had, however, shrugged off the seriousness of his injury and said his arms are enough for him to bat.
“The back is pretty bad but God has given me a lot of power, and I don’t need to use my back a lot. My arms can do the job. It shouldn’t be too bad because I know what happened. And when you know the extent of your injury, you know how bad it really is.”
His efforts also earned him praises from former India skippers Kapil Dev and Dilip Vengsarkar who have lauded him for his fitness.
“It was awesome the way he played. He came close to winning the game for CSK. He has played really well. I wish him luck,”
Vengsarkar also added the age is just a number for Dhoni,
“I have always believed that form and fitness are two important aspects of the game. As far as Dhoni is concerned, his fitness level is still excellent — as good as he was before,”
On the other hand, the 1983 world winning captain said,
“He is very fit, and in terms of overall ratings, he is one of the top players in terms of fitness,”
Dev added he is expecting few more such innings from Dhoni in this IPL,
“This IPL will give him the strength to do bigger things as a player. He was fabulous the other night. Batting up the order is going to do a world of good to his batting. He will open his arms and shoulder at will. I am sure he is enjoying every moment of it.”