Chennai Super Kings’ IPL campaign may well end on Monday, which will be their first without reaching the play-offs, if KKR win their next match but Mahendra Singh Dhoni wants his team to enjoy it even as they endure a painful next 12 hours.
KKR are on 12 points and a win against KXIP on Monday will take them to 14 points. Three other sides — Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore — have already got 14 points.
CSK, on the other hand, can go up to 12 points even if they win their next two games.
“It does hurt when you don’t do well so you try to amplify certain emotions. So that the guys just don’t drop the game. That can leave with 12 painful hours of the remaining time in the tournament. You have to enjoy the game no matter where you are on the table,” Dhoni said during the post-match presentation.
The last two games could well be inconsequential but the CSK skipper wants his men to just go out there and enjoy themselves.
“If you are not enjoying the cricket, it can become cruel and painful. So I am glad with how the youngsters have responded.”
The eight-wicket victory over RCB on Sunday was the kind of performance that Dhoni always wanted from his team during the tournament.
“I felt this one was one of the perfect games. Everything went to plan, and the execution was there. We kept picking wickets, and kept them to a total that was slightly below par.”
He lauded spinners Imran Tahir and Mitchell Santner who kept things tight while Ruturaj Gaikwad also got some amount of praise from the legend.
“The wicket was on a slower side, and the spinners did a good job. We haven’t been very consistent with the batting. Today, the start was very good. Rutu batted well. He backed himself to play the shots he is known for. Looking to time the ball, if you look for four, you can get six,” Dhoni said.