May 23, 2018
Faf du Plessis was retained by Chennai Super Kings using the RTM at IPL 2018 Auctions but he was not given too many matches this season. But CSK captain MS Dhoni backed Du Plessis for the Qualifier 1 against Sunrisers Hyderabad and the South African used all his experience to pull off a senstional chase and take CSK to the IPL 2018 Final. Du Plessis hit 67* off 42 balls and helped CSK chase down a target of 140 in 19.1 overs after being down at 62 for 6. (IPL Highlights Qualifier 1 SRH vs CSK)
“Faf’s innings, is where experience counts. It’s not easy when you don’t play a lot of games but I always say you need to train your mind as well. That’s where the experience comes in. You visualise what your role is, how you can contribute and Faf has been brilliant,” Dhoni said.
Dhoni said that one good thing was that they would have had a second chance even if they would have lost.
“I am always happy when we win. Being in the top two gives us that liberty to have one more game,” Dhoni says. “If we would have lost, you still give yourself a second chance. They bowled very well, and there was a bit in it for the fast bowlers. Bhuvi bowled well, backed up well by Rashid. We kept losing wickets, and so we had to push ourselves. Losing three-four wickets in the middle always puts you on pressure. Plus, they have a mystery bowler (Rashid).”
Dhoni praised his team for the win but said that before the final, it was important to know what areas CSK can improve, before adding that shuffling players may hurt sometimes.
“It’s good to win a game like this, but what’s more important, is knowing how we can improve. Our bowling combination is the best we have, and from the beginning I’ve been using different players at different stages to test them. You have to keep shuffling to know who can do what for you, and at what time. It may hurt you sometimes, and the best bowlers are playing these games,” he said.