The Chennai Super Kings recorded their first defeat in the UAE-leg of IPL 2021 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Sunday. The Rajasthan Royals, riding on fifties by Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube, defeated the yellow army by seven wickets. 

Batting first, CSK posted a mammoth 189-run total after 20 overs. Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad became the youngest batsman to score a century for the Chennai-based outfit. The 24-year-old reached the three-figure mark on the last ball of the innings with a six off Mustafizur Rahman. Ravindra Jadeja’s 15-ball 32 gave CSK the boost in the death after Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali played 20-odd run cameos. 

Chennai skipper MS Dhoni, who did not bat, jokingly said that for Rajasthan 250 runs would have been a close to par total. 

“A bad toss to lose. 190 was a good score, and the dew made it flat, and the ball started coming on well. You needed to bat well, and they did that, and put pressure on the bowlers. They just took the game away in the first 6 overs. 250 would’ve been closer to par (Warning: sarcasm), given the way they were going,” Dhoni said. 

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He lauded Ruturaj Gaikwad for adapting to the conditions and playing a brilliant innings. 

“It was stopping a bit when their wristspinners were bowling, and it started coming on better later, that’s when Ruturaj capitalised really well. Often when you lose the game it can get brushed under the carpet but it was a brilliant innings. I think the batsmen must assess quickly what is a good score, and you tend to go hard in the T20 format and then realise that it’s not a 160-180 wicket,” Dhoni continued. 

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Deepak Chahar and Dwayne Bravo missed the game as all-rounder Sam Curran and pacer KM Asif replaced them. Dhoni said that the side missed the services of Chahar.

“They assessed the conditions quickly, and they didn’t let pressure get to the middle order. Deepak was really good with the new ball in earlier games, and we did miss him, because today the bowlers were under the pump. We could have used the dimensions better in terms of setting fields too. It’s important to forget but also learn from this game, because there’s no point learning if this happens in a playoff match,” he concluded.