“I think the reason was Dhoni felt he was best equipped to hit those sixes. The way he calculates the last few overs based on his power.”
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s refusal to take three singles in the penultimate over with big-hitting Dwayne Bravo at the other end raised a few eyebrows but Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming says he will “never question” his skipper’s game-plan at the death.
With 36 runs needed in the last two overs, Dhoni refused three singles in the 19th over bowled by Navdeep Saini getting just 10 off it including a six off a no-ball.
In the last over, 26 runs were needed and Dhoni nearly pulled it off with a 24 off the first first five balls before Parthiv Patel ran Shardul Thakur out to win the match for RCB by one run.
“He is so calculative that I would never question the last part of an innings with MS Dhoni. Yes, Bravo’s got power but if MS has a feeling that he’s going to win it this way, I’m going to back him every time,” Fleming said at the media conference.
“He’s done this so many times and look, tonight he got us so close to the game so I’ll never question that,” he added.
When asked why Dhoni refused those singles, Fleming said the veteran always believes in calculating the difference between runs and balls to check how many sixes he needs to hit.
“I think the reason was Dhoni felt he was best equipped to hit those sixes. The way he calculates the last few overs based on his power.
“He would have looked at it saying ‘I need four-five sixes’ to win the game. And as it panned out, it was pretty close,” said Fleming.