After seeing his side crash to a narrow defeat against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Qualifier 1 of the playoffs, Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach Ricky Ponting lavished praise on opposition captain MS Dhoni for his brilliant cameo to take his team to the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 final. Dhoni was at his spectacular best, smashing an unbeaten knock of 18 off just six balls, also hammering the winning boundary. Speaking during the post-match conference, Ponting revealed that he was “pretty sure” Dhoni would try to finish the match for Chennai. The former Australian skipper also called the 2011 World Cup winner “as one of the greatest finishers of the game”.
“Look, I think he has been one of the greats, there is no doubt about that. I mean it was a situation tonight where we were thinking in the dugout, would Jadeja come next, would Dhoni come next”, he said.
“I put my hand up straightway and said that I am pretty sure Dhoni will come out now and try to ice the game”, he continued.
Chasing a target of 173, Dhoni came to bat in the penultimate over, ahead of Ravindra Jadeja, with Chennai needing 19 off nine balls.
With two balls left in the 19th over, Dhoni hit the final delivery for a six over deep mid-wicket.
In the 20th over, DC pacer Tom Curran removed Moeen Ali on the first delivery. But with the ball going into the outfield, Dhoni managed to get on strike, with Jadeja at the non-striker’s end.
The former India skipper followed up with three consecutive fours, with a wide ball in between, to take CSK into the final with two balls to spare.
Explaining that DC’s bowlers didn’t perform well against Dhoni, Ponting said, “Look we probably didn’t execute as well as we needed to against him in those last couple of overs. You know that if you miss he is going to make you pay. He has done it for a long time now and I think our bowlers just missed their areas a little bit and he certainly made us pay.”
“When he is done and when he is retired, I think he will definitely be remembered as one of the greatest finishers of the game ever seen”, he further added.
DC will now face the winner of the Eliminator fixture between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Qualifier 2 for a berth in the title clash.
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