Chennai Super Kings may have been officially been ousted from the play-offs race in the Indian Premier League 2022 after Mumbai Indians beat them by 5 wickets on Thursday at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, but it wasn’t without some promise shown by fast bowlers.
Reflecting on the the bowling performance of Mukesh Choudhary (3/23) and Simarjeet Singh (1/22), Mahendra Singh Dhoni suggested that it was one of the positives in their rather poor show this season and that his team will return stronger next season with more fast bowlers in their lineup.
In the post-match presentation, Dhoni said, “The fast bowlers, to have both of them (Choudhary and Simarjeet) bowling really well is a big positive. Not to forget we’ll have two more fast bowlers coming in to the next season and we have a few more up our sleeves. We just want to give them ample time to prepare for what the IPL holds for them.
“So we have a few positives that we’ll take into the next season but what is important is that whatever gaps are there, to try to fill in those gaps so that leakages don’t happen.”
The CSK bowling department was burdened with a difficult challenge to defend 98 runs against MI, but Dhoni’s advice to his bowlers to put pressure on the MI batters despite chasing the paltry target brought them some success at least early in the match as MI were reduced to 33/4 in the power play.
“I asked the bowlers to show a lot of character, put the opposition under pressure and forget about the result. I feel both the young fast bowlers bowled really well. As far as their contribution is concerned, I feel a game like this really helps them.”
“It’s something that they start believing in themselves. Whenever we start, we need the same kind of attitude and that’s what is needed in the shortest format.”
With multiple new fast bowlers such as Choudhary, Simarjeet, Umran Malik, Mohsin Khan and Kuldeep Sen emerging from the ranks during this edition of the IPL, the former India captain also spoke about the luxury of having potential options to ensure the Indian cricket team has a solid pace-bowling contingent in the years to come.
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“It’s good to have them. We have gone through a period where we never had extraordinary bench strength with fast bowlers. Also what happens is fast bowlers, they take their time to mature. If you’re lucky, you get somebody who in six months’ time can feature in all the different formats, whether Test cricket, one-day or T20. I feel that’s what IPL is doing,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity for them and a lot of them become slightly more bold and a bit more courageous which is important in a format like this. They want to take the opposition head on and that has been the difference.
“You see a few who are not those types, who shy away initially but as they play more games, they get more and more confident and are able to execute their plans better.”