Chennai Super Kings were on top of the world heading into the clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2019 encounter at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. The team had lost only once but in the encounter, they decided to rest MS Dhoni for the first time in nine years and the three-time champions were led by Suresh Raina. Chennai Super Kings started well and were scoring at over nine per over in the first 10 overs but in the last 10, backed by some fabulous bowling from Rashid Khan (2/17) resulted in just 52 runs and they ended on a sub-par score of 132/5. David Warner’s blazing 25-ball fifty and Jonny Bairstow’s 61 helped Sunrisers Hyderabad thrash Chennai Super Kings by six wickets with more than three overs remaining.
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming said the team was blown away. “This is the first time in a while we were exposed like that and will be interesting to see how the players respond. We don't over-analyse our defeats. We identify the areas to work on and we work on those. You have to have some kind of resilience. We played eight and won seven and the ninth one we got to keep motivated,” Fleming said.
Chennai Super Kings will square off against Royal Challengers Bangalore in their next game and Fleming stressed that the team cannot be complacent. “Need to make sure that in the next game against RCB we are better. You can't assume you're in the semi-finals. It doesn't matter how teams are playing because each game is tough. That's a motto we have had for a long time,” Fleming said.
When asked as to why MS Dhoni was rested for this game, Fleming said it was a precautionary move. “He (Dhoni) was stiff after the game in Kolkata. So it's mostly a precaution and it's also the part of the season where we have to careful so that he gets through the season in good shape. Every ground he goes to people want to see him play, but we have to make big calls,” Dhoni said.
Chennai Super Kings are still on top of the table and they will next face Virat Kohli’s side who are at the bottom of the table. A win will seal their spot in the playoffs.