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MI misread wicket, says captain Dhoni

Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni heaped praise on Dwayne Smith, after the opener hit a patient 57 off 51 balls to guide CSK to a four-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians, in Mumbai, on Saturday.

Excerpts

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: It’s a fantastic pitch to bat on. Also I have a history of finishing matches at this ground. Today, the ball was stopping a bit early on. Later, however, it became easier to bat on once the dew set in, even though Malinga was always threatening. I must give credit to Smith. He is always learning, and he is learning to put a price tag on his wicket. He is always improving, and I am happy with his form .

I thought MI misread the wicket, they left out one spinner and came in with only Harbhajan. I thought they wanted to play on a flat wicket, where there is not much on offer for spinners. But, it is not always easy to prepare the sort of wicket one wants. This one spun quite a bit and that’s why our spinners got a bit of purchase out of this wicket.

Rohit Sharma: 157 was not a par score on this wicket. We needed 10-15 runs more because we knew the dew would be coming in and that would make bowling and fielding difficult. But the bowlers did an excellent job to keep us in the fight. I think me batting up the order did not suit the combination.

We needed someone to anchor the innings in the middle and I think it is on me to do that job.

Dwayne Smith (MoM): I’m just trying to stay as consistent as I can. I thought they bowled very well up front, especially Harbhajan.

MI is my old team, but I am a professional and I have to score... I was under no pressure today. In fact, playing against my old team was a bit of motivation.