Chennai Super Kings were more relaxed and enjoying their game after a long time during their 20-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday, according to former India off-spinner Pragyan Ojha. CSK gave themselves a chance to remain in contention for IPL 2020 play-off spot with the crucial win over David Warner's men on Tuesday.
MS Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings were under considerable pressure as they had head into their crunch encounter in Dubai on the back of 5 losses in 7 games. They were desperate for a win as anything less than 2 points would have further dented their chances of making it to the knockout stages of the tournament.
Things went right for MS Dhoni right from the toss on Tuesday as CSK had the opportunity to bat first on a sluggish wicket. With Sam Curran opening the batting and scoring a quickfire 31 and the likes of Shane Watson and Ambati Rayduu showing the much-needed and talked-about intent in the middle overs, Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni played late cameos as CSK posted a par-total of 167.
Curran struck early with the ball as he got the big wicket of David Warner and Dwayne Bravo ran Manish Pandey out and brought out a glimpse of his Champions' dance. Despite Kane Williamson hitting a well-paced 57, an all-round bowling effort saw CSK restrict SRH to 147 for 8.
As Pragyan Ojha pointed out, the CSK were a lot more expressive on the field. "Today, I saw that old Chennai team. They were happy, they were enjoying the game. We have seen them celebrating, but they were disappointed. They were not looking as if they were satisfied. Today, they were happy, the old Chennai is what we saw in the ground," Ojha told Sports Today.
Ojha had called for Sam Curran to open the innings for CSK and his prediction came true as MS Dhoni's men sent Curran up the order for SRH. Curran took on the new-ball bowlers and made a quickfire 31 off just 21 balls at the top.
"Yes, I felt it made a difference. When I was analyzing, That's the only difference that could have made to the team and it really did. Sam Curran got those quick 30 runs and then everything was set. They were missing that," Ojha said.
'Dhoni never gets too angry or animated'
Ojha said he wants to believe that the revival for CSK has just begun, opining that the Indian Premier League will continue to garner more attention if Dhoni's men manage to keep fighting in the season.
"I wish it has just begun. CSK, MI and RCB are favourites. If they get out of the IPL, it's like India, Australia and England going out of the World Cup before the quarter-finals or semi-finals. It's like that. We want these 3 teams to be there," Ojha said.
MS Dhoni took a gamble by throwing the ball to his leg-spinner Karn Sharma in the 18th over, when SRH needed 46 runs. The gamble paid off as Karn got the big wicket of Kane Williamson but conceded 19 runs by failing to bowl to the fields set by his skipper.
Dhoni was more expressive on the field and it was not surprising to see him quickly rush to Karn and have a word with him after the over was completed.
"If he is disappointed, he will tell you on the ground. I saw Karn Sharma giving a boundary to Nadeem and straightaway, in between overs, he called Karn and told him 'boss I have given you this field and why did you bowl there and give Nadeem a boundary over covers?'. That's how he tells you, he never gets too angry or he never becomes animated," Ojha said.