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Dhoni hails his bowlers for applying brakes on free-flowing RCB

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Sharjah, Sep 25: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni heaped praise on his bowlers for how they pulled back things against a rampaging Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) during their six-wicket win in the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Friday.

With skipper Virat Kohli (53) and Devdutt Padikkal (70) going great guns, it looked like Royal Challengers Bangalore will put up a big total, and pile on the pressure on Dho’i’s team. But CSK came back strongly in the last 10 overs as they restricted RCB to 156/6 in their allotted 20 overs.

CSK rode on useful knocks by Rituraj Gaikwad (38), Faf du Plessis (31), Ambati Rayudu (32), and Moeen Ali (23) to cruise to a six-wicket victory despite a minor hiccup when Gaikwad and du Plessis got out in successive overs with the score 71. Suresh Raina (17*) and Dhoni (11*) guided Chennai to 157/4 in 18.1 overs)

Dhoni said spinner Ravindra Jadeja bowled a crucial spell that helped them come back into the match. Though Jadeja did not get any wicket, he bowled his four overs for 31 runs at a time when both Kohli and Padikkal were going great guns and had taken the team 100 without losing any wicket. The other CSK bowlers — Dwayne Bravo (3/24), Shardul Thakur (2/29), and Deepak Chahar (1/35) — capitalised on the pressure he created and helped restrict RCB to a manageable total.

“They got off to a good start but after ninth over, the wicket slowed down. You still had to bowl tight, and Jadeja’s spell was important with Padikkal batting from one end. After that Bravo, Josh (Hazelwood), Shardul, Deepak were brilliant. It’s always on the back of your mind on which bowler can be effective over here. I had told Moeen (Ali) before drinks that he would be bowling soon, but then I decided Bravo should bowl. The more you delay Bravo, the more difficult it is since he will end up bowling four straight overs in these difficult conditions,” said Dhoni after the match.

Dhoni said he to plan his tactics keeping in mind the different ground conditions. He chose to field first as he wanted to avoid the dew in the second half of the match.

“We were worried about the dew, so whenever there are chances of dew we want to bat second. Over here, the three grounds are different. This is the slowest (so far) of all. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are different. So the players have been adapting,” said Dhoni.

Dhoni added, “Looking at the wicket, I felt left-right combo was important. We bat deep, we have a lot of left-handers, so in the back of the head, it’s there. And I feel all of them are good enough to play in any position. That’s why we went with the left-right combination, which may have pushed Raina and Rayudu down.”

Asked about Bravo’s performance, who bagged the man of the match award, Dhoni said that he has suggested to the West Indian bowler to mix up his deliveries as batsmen expect him to bowl slower balls.

“Bravo has turned up fit — that’s a very good thing. And he is executing well. I call him my brother. We always have fights over whether he should bowl the slower ball. But I told him that now everyone knows he bowls slower balls, so I told him to bowl six different balls in one over. Whenever he can, he takes up responsibilities.”

On his part, Bravo said the IPL is the toughest competition in the world and therefore he strives to be competitive. “I just strive to be competitive. IPL is the toughest competition in the world. Some days it works for me,’some days it doesn’t. But the pride and love I have for this game keeps me going,” said 37-year-old from Trinidad.

Bravo got the big wicket of Kohli to apply the brakes on the RCB scoring. That proved a crucial wicket as it broke the RCB rhythm and their scoring rate slowed down. “RCB are a big side, and Virat is a very good player, so important wicket. Wanted to just keep it simple. Variations, yorkers, slower balls…just stuck to my basics,” he said.

Asked what new can he do because he has been around for so long and everyone knows what he can bowl, Bravo said on Friday he bowled from around the wicket and wide yorkers to keep the batsmen guessing.

“Today I bowled around the wicket and wide yorkers, leg stump yorkers. That gets the batters thinking which way the ball will go. It’s all about keeping myself healthy,” he added.

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You will see me in yellow but not sure as player, says Dhoni on playing for CSK in 2022

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Dubai, Oct 7: Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni on Thursday said that fans will see him in ‘yellow in IPL 2022, but he doesn’t know if he will be part of the franchise as a player or in some other role.

Dhoni, who has been CSK’s captain since the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, highlighted that there is a ‘lot of uncertainty’ because of the two new teams coming in and the mega auction, next year.

“Well, you can see me in yellow next year. But whether I will be playing for CSK? There are a lot of uncertainties around it for a simple reason that we have two new teams coming up. We don’t know the retention policy. We don’t know how many foreigners, Indian players we can retain, the money cap that every player will be cutting from the kitty,” said 40-year-old at the toss ahead of CSK’s match against Punjab Kings in Dubai.

“So there are a lot of uncertainties. Unless the rules are in place you can’t really decide that. So we will wait for it to happen and hopefully it will be good for everyone,” he added.

The former India captain also mentioned that it has been difficult to maintain fitness this season due to back to back matches in the UAE leg of the 2021 IPL.

“It’s tough to maintain fitness. Once the IPL was postponed, it meant there will be back-to-back games (whenever the tournament resumes). We had that sort of a stretch but, looks good, no concern with fitness,” said Dhoni.

Dhoni, who has led CSK to three IPL titles, earlier indicated that he will be playing his farewell game in Chennai.

The 40-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman in an event celebrating 75 years of India Cements, earlier had said that he hopes to play his last IPL match in Chennai.

“When it comes to farewell, you can still come and see me play for CSK and that can be my farewell game. So, you will still get that opportunity to bid me farewell. Hopefully, we will come to Chennai and play my last game over there and we can meet the fans there,” Dhoni said while interacting with fans during the virtual event on Tuesday.

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Du Plessis’ fifty takes CSK to 134/6 against Punjab Kings

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Dubai, Oct 7: A hard-earned fifty by Faf du Plessis (76 off 55) took Chennai Super Kings to 134/6 against Punjab Kings in the 53rd match of the IPL 2021 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, here on Thursday.

Put in to bat first, CSK were off to a poor start as they lost the wickets of Ruturaj Gaikwad (12) and Moeen Ali (0) inside the powerplay.

Arshdeep Singh provided Punjab Kings the first breakthrough as he dismissed Gaikwad. The in-form opener tried to take on the short-pitch delivery bowled by Arshdeep but got a top edge and Shahrukh Khan completed the catch. Faf du Plessis was then joined by Moeen Ali, who didn’t trouble scorers and was dismissed for a duck.

Du Plessis looked in fine touch and hit back-to-back boundaries. But, he didn’t get the required support from the other end as Robin Uthappa (2), Ambati Rayudu (4) got out cheaply. Both Uthappa and Rayudu were dismissed by Chris Jordan, who is playing this game in place of Nicholas Pooran.

MS Dhoni, who came to bat next, hit a few boundaries before getting playing-on to his stumps a googly bowled by Ravi Bishnoi, leaving CSK struggling at 61-5 after 11.6 overs. From there on, Du Plessis and Ravindra Jadeja batted sensibly and rebuilt the CSK innings.

The Proteas cricketer took calculated risks and completed his fifth fifty of IPL 2021 in 46 balls and kept Chennai Super Kings alive in the match. Jadeja, on the other hand, gave him the much-needed support by rotating the strike regularly.

In the final overs, Du Plessis batted freely and hit a few lusty boundaries to give impetus to CSK innings. His fine innings came to an end for 76 in the last over of the innings and he added 67 runs for the sixth wicket with Jadeja.

In the last few balls, Dwayne Bravo hit a four and helped CSK post a total of 134-6 in 20 overs.

Brief scores:
Chennai Super Kings Innings – 134-6 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis (76 off 55, Chris Jordan 2/20, Arshdeep Singh 2/35) against Punjab Kings

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Sports gears of Olympians in highest demand in auctioning

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New Delhi: Sports gears of Olympians have received the highest bids with just one day left for the e-auction of the Prime Minister’s mementos to end, historical items and religious artefacts seem to have drawn more interest. The javelin used by Neeraj Chopra, which brought him the gold medal, received the highest bid of Rs 10 crore on the opening day, it was later cancelled on the suspicion that it could be a fake bid.

The auction opened on September 17 and since then all eyes are focusing on the sporting gear of Olympians and Paralympians. Weeks later, a javelin used by a Paralympic gold medallist remains at the top with a bid of Rs 1,00,50,000. However, till now it has received only two bids, according to the latest bid details on the PM”s memento’s site https://pmmementos.gov.in/.

In comparison, a metal mace whose base price was Rs 2,500 has received 54 bids, with the highest at Rs 5 lakh. The javelin used by Paralympic gold medallist Sumit Antil, with a base price of Rs 1 crore, received a bid of Rs 1,00,05,000 from one bidder, while a wooden model of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya saw 24 bids come in. The mandir’s base value was Rs 2,50,000.

A badminton racquet autographed by Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games gold medallist Krishna Nagar received a highest bid of Rs 80.15 lakh but there were only three bidders who showed interest in it. On the other hand, a small metallic figurine showing Lord Rama, Hanuman, Laxman and Goddess Sita, titled Bhagwan Ram Parivar, received 44 bids,

With the highest being Rs 1.35 lakh. Its base price was only Rs 10,000. Apart from religious items, a large-scale three-dimensional replica model of a DRDO tank placed inside a glass box has received 23 bids, with the highest being Rs 5 lakh. Its base price was Rs 75,000.

Another item, a memento of the Pune metro line with a sculpture of Chattrapati Shivajji on a horse and the metro line within the cityscape, received 24 bids, with the highest being Rs 43,000, while its base price was only Rs 3,000.

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