Dhoni loses calm after Chahar bowls freebies at death

Chennai: Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is known as Captain Cool for a reason. Whatever the situation, he just doesn’t let his emotion get the better of him. But even the best lose their calm when it comes to high-voltage clashes in the Indian Premier League. On Saturday, it was Dhoni’s turn.

With Kings XI Punjab needing 39 runs off 12 balls, Dhoni handed the ball to Deepak Chahar and the start was horrifying. Chahar bowled it full and above the waist and Sarfaraz Khan picked up four. The next one was another full toss above the waist but this time Sarfaraz only managed a couple. But with the match slipping out of CSK’s hands, Dhoni walked up to the bowler with Suresh Raina for company.

It looked like Chahar had lost the plot and was scared of the responsibility of bowling in the death with the batsmen in full flow. But an animated chat from Dhoni saw Chahar come back strongly and even dismiss David Miller off the last ball of the over. A scolding from Dhoni saw Chahar come back on track and he finished the over giving away just 13 runs, after two free hits.

In the end, CSK won the game by 22 runs and Dhoni applauded Harbhajan Singh for keeping Chennai in the game even though it was much easier to bat in the second innings at Chepauk on Saturday. Harbhajan finished with 2/17 from his four overs, including the prized scalp of Chris Gayle.

“We had to get the Universe Boss out. If he gets going even 200 wouldn’t have been enough. Bhajji got us the wickets. Otherwise 160 was not enough. It was not a placid wicket but it became better in the second half. All three spinners did really well for us. Bhajji was really needed, over the years only off-spinners have troubled Chris Gayle.

“The last couple of overs of Scott were brilliant. It was important for him to start well because he had to bowl in powerplay. Crowd supported us 100 per cent. Whenever the chips are down, they lift us. It really helps when the crowd is behind us. They come not only for games but also for practise. The love and affection showed by them is amazing. It feels good to be on top of the points table but it is a constant process, only 5 to 6 matches have been played and we need to keep improving in all aspects,” he said with a smile.