IPL 2021: MS Dhoni Asked Ruturaj Gaikwad A Simple Question To Assess His Mentality
MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni
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IPL 2021: MS Dhoni Asked Ruturaj Gaikwad A Simple Question To Assess His Mentality

MS Dhoni revealed on Wednesday that he had asked Ruturaj Gaikwad a simple question to assess his mentality in the lead-up to their game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Mumbai.

Chennai Super Kings are known to back their players. At CSK, most players are assured of a long rope that helps them hit peak form. On Wednesday, CSK reaped the rewards for showing faith in young opener Ruturaj Gaikwad who did not have the ideal start to the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

MS Dhoni Asked Ruturaj Gaikwad How He Was Feeling

Ruturaj Gaikwad was retained by CSK for IPL 2021 after the young Maharashtra opener hit as many as 3 fifties towards the end of their floundering campaign in the UAE last year.  As expected, Ruturaj Gaikwad partnered with Faf du Plessis in the new season but the opener got scores of 5, 5, and 10 as he struggled to get going.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, who amassed 204 runs at 51 in IPL 2020, has managed just 20 runs from his three outings this season. Ruturaj Gaikwad smashed a hat-trick of half-centuries in the last three games to amass 204 runs averaging 51 in 6 games after scoring 5 runs in the first 3 outings in IPL 2020 held at UAE.

Ruturaj Gaikwad was backed for CSK’s 4th match of IPL 2021, the evening match in a double-header, against KKR on Wednesday. The young opener returned to peak form, showcasing his class and elegance.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

Ruturaj Gaikwad hit 64 off 42 balls as he took the attack to KKR new-ball bowlers. He stitched a 115-run opening stand with South African opener Faf du Plessis, who went on to hit an unbeaten 95, as CSK posted a match-winning total of 220. Speaking after CSK’s win, MS Dhoni said he just posed a simple question to Ruturaj Gaikwad to assess his mentality ahead of their match against KKR in Mumbai.

“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 ask a question like that, you wait for the reactions, you see what’s in his eyes,” MS Dhoni said.

“There was enough in his reactions to suggest he wasn’t rattled. That’s what I’ve been doing all my life (applying a bit of psychology) but in a good way,” MS Dhoni added.

After losing their first game to Delhi Capitals, CSK came back strongly to register successive big wins against Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals before the thrilling win against Kolkata Knight Riders.

MS Dhoni’s CSK Beats KKR In A Thriller As Late Assault Goes In Vain

MS Dhoni marshalled his troops well as pacer Deepak Chahar broke the back of KKR’s top-order with 4 wickets in his 4 over-spell. KKR were reeling at 31/5 but a late assault from Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, and Pat Cummins helped the 2-time champions get close to the total.

Despite the scare, CSK went on to win their match by 18 runs and jump to the top of the table with 3 wins from 4 matches in IPL 2021.

Deepak Chahar, Twitter @BCCI
Deepak Chahar, Twitter @BCCI

Chennai Super Kings’ big total set up by a century-stand between openers Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad. CSK’s much-maligned opener come back to form spectacularly while the other opener powered to 95 not out. CSK had a total of 220 for 3, and then they had the opposition 31 for 5 inside the powerplay.

Andre Russell hit a 21-ball fifty, coming in at five down in 5.2 overs. Pat Cummins walked in when Andre Russell was out, saw Dinesh Karthik fall too, and then reeled off a 23-ball fifty.

But in the end, the Chennai Super Kings had put up too many runs and taken too many wickets upfront, as a valiant chase ended with the Kolkata Knight Riders 202 all out in 19.1 overs. Pat Cummins was unconquered on 66 and the last two wickets were run-outs with Pat Cummins trying to retain strike.

Chennai Super Kings 220 for 3 (du Plessis 95, Gaikwad 64) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 202 (Cummins 66*, Russell 54, Chahar 4-29, Ngidi 3-28) by 18 runs.

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