Dhoni explains why he refused singles in the penultimate over

It was a game of yet another nail-biting finish in this IPL as Dhoni almost finished it off in style from nowhere. With CSK losing wickets early, the run-rate wasn’t helping either for the team. Still, the 37-year-old brought back some memories of his vintage hitting to take the team so close but couldn’t cross the line.

The match got down to the wire when CSK needed 36 off two overs and with Bravo new at the crease at one end, Dhoni refused to pick up singles not once but thrice in the penultimate over of the match. Eventually brought the equation down to 26 off final over. The master of finishes almost pulled it off with 4, 6, 6, 2, 6 in the first five deliveries. Needing only two in the final delivery, he missed it completely and Parthiv Patel was quick enough to dislodge the stumps to give RCB a one-run win.

Since the team lost by a run, a lot of questions were left unanswered. It was Bravo, who is a power hitter at the other end. Why didn’t Dhoni pick up the single?

The same question was asked to Dhoni during the post-match interview and here’s his answer:

“I think it was still difficult at the death. If you bowl that back of a length it was slightly spongy, it was not really coming on to the bat, which meant the new batsman who would have come, he would have also found it slightly difficult.

Since I have played so many deliveries, I can afford to take that risk, because a lot of runs were needed. I think 10 or 12 deliveries, we needed some close to 40 runs or 36 runs or something like that, which meant a lot of boundaries were needed.

So yes, right now you can calculate, two runs over there, one run over there, and we are through, because we lost by one run, but at the same time what you have to see is what if there were a few dot balls, whether we could have got those extra boundaries or not.”