Chennai Super Kings scraped home by two wickets in a low scoring thriller at Wankhede to enter their seventh IPL final in the nine seasons they have been part of the league. Sunrisers Hyderabad were on the brink but Faf du Plessis' masterclass ensured that the Chennai fans sleep happily tonight.
At 62/6 with 78 more needed off 45 balls, it looked much different for the team that has won many of their games in nail-biting finishes this season. But just like they have before, the team found a way to win when all seemed lost.
MS Dhoni was a pleased captain during the post match presentation ceremony, he said, "I'm always happy whenever we win a game. Process is more important. Being in top two gives more liberty of having one more game. If we would've lost this game, still you give yourself a second chance,"
Speaking on the exceptional bowling of Sunrisers Hyderabad that made the target lot tougher than it was, Dhoni said, "They bowled very well. There was a bit for the fast bowlers initially. Bhuvi bowled really well and he was backed up well by Rashid. We kept losing wickets, for that reason also we had to keep pushing ourselves to get the number of runs needed. We lost three-four in the middle and that put pressure,"
When asked about the CSK bowling attack which has often been the weak link for a batting heavy side, Dhoni elaborated in detail on what he expects from his bowlers, "Good to win games like this. But what's important is to learn out of this game. It's about constantly improving. This is the best combination that we have got. And right from the first game we've used different bowlers in different ways to find out who is the best bowler at the end. You have to keep shuffling them to see who can see a good job for me. They will get hit at some point of time. These are the bowlers, and our bowlers, who were playing this game. They will have to step up in the final,"
Dhoni also praised Faf du Plessis who has not featured in a lot of games for CSK in this season, "It's not easy not to get games during the IPL. I've always felt you need to train the mind more than the body. Injuries can happen anytime. That's where experience counts. He's been brilliant. He batted really well. Hopefully he can continue this in the final also,"
Dhoni signed off with a brief reflection on CSK reaching their 7th IPL Final, for which he credited the whole team, he said, "We've been a very good team and it reflects when it comes to the IPL. It reflects the dressing room atmosphere we've been able to create. It's not possible without that. Credit goes to management, support staff and players. Even if one of them is lacking you can't have a good dressing room atmosphere. If atmosphere is not great, it becomes difficult to perform. Somehow we've been able to push the players into thinking about what's good for the team."
(WITH INPUTS FROM CRICBUZZ)