Dhoni eyes Chennai clean-out after losing IPL final

Tuesday, 14 May 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


HYDERABAD (AFP): Chennai Super Kings skipper M.S. Dhoni suggested his ageing side needs a shake-up after they lost a nail-biting Indian Premier League final to archrivals Mumbai Indians. 

The thriller saw Mumbai edge out Chennai on Sunday after Australian Shane Watson was run out going for an unlikely second run in the final over to end a blistering 59-ball innings at 80. 

Chennai then needed two runs off the last ball to overtake Mumbai’s 149-8. But Sri Lanka pace-man Lasith Malinga trapped Shardul Thakur lbw to claim a record fourth title for Mumbai. 

“We need to go back and reflect as to how we reached the finals. I don’t think it was one of those years where we played really good cricket and we got into the finals,” said Dhoni. 

“After the World Cup, once we come back, that’s the time we get to the drawing board and see what can be done to fill the gaps. 

“Nothing against the bowlers, but batting could have been better,” said Dhoni, whose team has won three IPL titles from eight finals. 

None of Chennai’s batsmen made it to the top-10 scorers list in this year’s IPL, India’s cash-rich domestic Twenty20 showpiece tournament. 

Dhoni – 37 but still a key member of India’s World Cup squad – was Chennai’s best with 416 runs, including three fifties. 

Watson’s return to the IPL next season was already uncertain after the 37-year-old bid farewell to Australia’s Big Bash early this year. 

The Australian all-rounder and Dhoni are among the 11 members of the 25-man Chennai squad aged over 30. 

Dhoni was run out in Sunday’s final for two, leaving the defending champions in trouble at 82-4. 

“We committed a lot of mistakes and Mumbai Indians also did the same and at the end of the day the winning team was the one that made one mistake less than the other team,” said Dhoni, adding that his immediate focus is on the 50-over World Cup starting later this month in England and Wales. 

Kieron Pollard smashed an unbeaten 41 off 25 deliveries for Mumbai while pace-man Jasprit Bumrah returned figures of 2-14 from his four overs. 

The Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai were the team to beat this year in the world’s most popular T20 league, ending top of the table after 14 league games. 

“We played some good cricket. Good to see we qualified in the top two,” said Sharma. 

“Our bowling in this tournament was excellent. At different stages, our bowlers put their hands up and brought us back in the game.”