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Defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) started their 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) in a grand fashion as they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by seven wickets at the Chepauk Stadium. Following their win, MS Dhoni raised concern over the pitch saying that they were not expecting this kind of a wicket.
The Chennai Super Kings bowlers made use of the conditions on offer to dismiss Royal Challengers Bangalore for a paltry score of 70 runs. Harbhajan Singh began the collapse while Imran Tahir sumptuously finished the job. The Indian spinners picked the first three wickets including skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers along with Moeen Ali to break the backbone of the batting order. Harbhajan finished with figures of three for 20 when Tahir joined the party.
The veteran South Africa spinner who will make his international retirement after the ICC World Cup is still strong and running in the shortest format. His wide arm celebration is a trademark and Tahir didn’t deprive the spectators. The leg-spinners returned with three for nine to skittle the Challengers for a mere score of 70 runs.
Meanwhile, after a stunning effort by the bowlers to restrict RCB for a cheap score, it was a cakewalk for the Super Kings batters. However, they made a cautious start as they retained their opener pair of Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson. But, Yuzvendra Chahal exploited the spin on offer to get the wicket of Watson for a duck. Since then, Suresh Raina and Rayudu looked confident to take their side over the rope.
On the other hand, only one main spinner in the playing hurt the chances of the visiting team. However, part-time spinner Moeen Ali brought the second damage dismissing Raina. But with the 32-run second-wicket stand, Chennai have already set the tone for the victory. The Indian batsman in that processed crossed 5000 IPL runs. MS Dhoni & Co crossed the target with seven wickets in hand with 18 balls to spare and start the campaign in a perfect note.
Following their convincing victory, MS Dhoni said:
“No, not really, I wasn’t sure about the wicket. We played a practice match on this wicket and it was a high scoring match, but usually, in practice matches, we score 30 runs more than a normal match. But we were really surprised by how slow the wicket was. The wicket definitely needs to be much better, even with dew it was spinning big,” Dhoni said.
Moreover, MS Dhoni also added that they need to improve as a batting unit as they can’t control the fate of the toss. The former India skipper also added that they will rotate players only for one spot currently held by Harbhajan Singh.
“80, 90, 100 is really low-scoring and if you have genuine spinners in your lineup you can create a lot of trouble. We have communicated it really well to the players as to when they’ll feature in and in which conditions. Harbhajan’s is one slot and we’ll shuffle it around. He would never mind bowling on such wickets.
We need to score runs as well, ours is a batting attack where batsmen like to play their shots and you can’t control the toss which means that we might have to bowl first in matches as well. Other teams have good spinners as well and this isn’t the pitch we are looking forward to,” MS Dhoni added.