Chennai: Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni defended his his decision of not using Ravichandran Ashwin in the 12-run win over Rajasthan Royals here, saying he did not feel the necessity of using the off-spinner today.
Brendon McCullum struck a quickfire fifty before Ravindra Jadeja produced a brilliant spell of 4-11 to help Chennai beat Rajasthan by 12 runs and virtually secure its place in the play-offs of the Indian Premier League.
MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo. Pic/ PTI
Opting to bat, McCullum smashed a quickfire 81 before Chris Morris (3/19) produced a brilliant display with the ball for Rajasthan Royals to restrict Chennai to a modest 157 for five.
But Chennai rode on Jadeja's fine spin bowling performance and some brilliant ground fielding to restrict Rajasthan to 145 for nine.
"He (McCullum) batted really well. He comes from New Zealand and it was difficult for him. There is a joke going around in the dressing room that if Brendon Mccullum bats for 6-7 overs he will be cooked.
"I did not have to use Ashwin. I had both the fast bowlers and I said I need not have to use Ashwin for this game," Dhoni said said at the post-match presentation.
Losing captain Steven Smith said lack of partnerhips hurt his team badly today. "Jadeja bowled well to take 4 for 11. We lost wickets in clumps and it was tough to form a partnership after that. We have a six-day break and hopefully finish well to make the qualifiers," he said.
Man-of-the-match Ravindra Jadeja dedicated his brilliant 4-11 spell to his mother on the occasion of Mother's Day. "First of all thanks to my mom. Today is Mother's day. I enjoyed bowling. We are reaching the knockout stage. I just want to keep doing well for the team."