CHENNAI: The sight of Ravindra Jadeja coming on to bowl the last over against Delhi Capitals raised eyebrows. Chennai Super Kings lost the match after the left-arm spinner failed to defend 17 in that over. But MS Dhoni had few options. Dwayne Bravo out injured, Jadeja and Karn Sharma were all that the skipper could choose from.
Delhi Capitals batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who made an unbeaten 101, felt Jadeja bowling the final over turned out to be an advantage for their team.
"We knew Bravo would not be able to bowl the last over and it would be bowled by Jadeja. We, being left-handers, had a certain advantage against Jadeja," Dhawan said.
With Axar Patel hitting three sixes, Dhawan had little to do in that last over. Jadeja, who is not having a good season as a bowler, was expensive also in the only other over he had bowled in the match. Bowling the seventh, he had gone for 13 runs.
Leg-spinner Karn had gone for 34 in his three overs.
Although the match looked lost for Chennai well before the end, Sam Curran had brought them back by bowling a miserly 19th over, in which he conceded just four runs.
"Curran bowled well. His yorker execution was very good. But there was dew and we (as a batting side) took advantage of that," Dhawan said.
Despite the India opener's maiden IPL century, Axar emerged a late hero by taking the pressure off Dhawan.
A modest Dhawan acknowledged Axar's contribution and said having an all-rounder like him is a big plus. "Axar has been a great asset. Whenever we demand good overs from him, he does the job. He is normally very economical. Having a quality all-rounder makes a big difference."
On his own batting, Dhawan said he tries to remain positive. "I was always focussing on my process. I was playing well. I stayed positive and confident. I have lots of experience behind me. Every time I am scoring runs, I am making mistakes as well. I was analysing what to do, what shot to play and what not to play. I pick and choose what shots to play or strategy I should use on different kinds of pitches."
Delhi Capitals remained on top of the table after the win. Dhawan said the team was playing well and everyone was doing their job.
"It's a great feeling. The best thing is we are playing very good cricket. Everyone is doing their job and that's a great sign. We all stay hungry and make sure that we focus on the process. We guys make sure that we stay fresh as well," he concluded.