Chennai Super Kings returned to winning ways on Tuesday, defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad by 20 runs and staying alive in the IPL 2020. While there were several individual contributions from their players, one that stands out is Sam Curran’s 31 off 21 balls as opener. The England all-rounder has been promoted up the order on a couple of occasions earlier in the season, and did what was asked of him opening the innings against SRH in Dubai.
With Faf du Plessis dismissed for a first-ball duck, Curran went after the SRH bowling, striking three fours and two sixes in his breezy knock. Later, with the ball, Curran picked up 1/18 from his four overs, the wicket of SRH captain David Warner to cap off a memorable match for the 22-year-old. Impressed by what he saw, MS Dhoni spoke highly of Curran, calling him a ‘complete cricketer’ for CSK.
“A lot depended on the fast bowlers. I just told them to be expressive on the field and hit their areas. There are some two paced balls, some swing and some don’t swing, some get extra bounce. What was needed was good execution of the plans and that was done by the fast bowlers,” Dhoni said after the match.
“We used an extra spinner because an Indian batter hasn’t done well for us. That’s why Sam Curran went up and it wasn’t fair on Jagadeesan as well to bat at seven or eight. Sam Curran is a complete cricketer for us. You need a seaming all-rounder, he plays the spinners well and he can give us those 15-45 runs.”
Dhoni was critical of his batsmen in the previous two games when the team failed to close out matches, but on Tuesday night, the CSK skipper had no reasons to complain. Dhoni was content seeing his bowlers operate, who combined to keep SRH to 147/8 in chase of 168.
“Ultimately what really matters is you getting two points. What T20s have shown is that there are a few games that don’t go your way and then there are some that go your way even when you haven’t earned it. Today I felt we did a very good job even in the batting. There was some purpose with the bat and the batsmen assessed the situation very well,” Dhoni said.
“With a total like 160, it all depends on the start you get in the first six overs. The fast bowlers did the job, the spinners came into play and it was one game that was as close to being perfect. It was a par score and I usually assess scores after the first six overs. If there are mis-fields in the first six overs then a par score becomes an under-par score.”