MS Dhoni didn't mince any words in a withering assessment of Chennai Super Kings' loss to Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Friday night. Trying to explain the reason for CSK's loss, the former India captain said that "the bowlers let us down" by not executing the length at which they needed to bowl. Jos Buttler's brilliant unbeaten 95 was the difference as Rajasthan Royals eked out a last-over four wicket win over Chennai Super Kings. The win helped the hosts to stay alive in the race for playoffs.
"I think it is the bowling. We had to bowl one particular length and the bowlers were instructed on what they need to bowl and where they need to bowl. That back of the length was a difficult one to hit. We at least got hit 4-5 boundaries off full length. What really happens is once you are told what to bowl, you need to be bowling to that area. They need to commit and execute. It is not the planning but the execution that goes haywire. That was a par score or a par plus score. I think the bowlers let us down to some extent," said Dhoni at the post-match presentation ceremony.
The lost meant that second-placed CSK are now four points behind table-toppers SunRisers Hyderabad and could still miss out on qualification for the playoffs if things don't go their way in the team's remaining three matches.
"Looking at the XI that we have on the field, we did well in the field. We can say we can get better, but with the players we have, this is the best we can get. It is important to start delivering when it comes to the planning part. You just don't want to qualify into the knockout stages, you have to win games. You also need to adjust to what length to bowl and how to bowl," added the CSK skipper.
Dhoni was not at all impressed with the team's performance and was seen shaking his head at the culmination of the match.
Electing to bat first, Suresh Raina's half-century and cameos from MS Dhoni (33 not out) and Sam Billings (27) helped CSK post a competitive 176 for four.
Buttler, like his done after taking up opening responsibilities for Rajasthan, once again gave his team a whirlwind start. But the loss of Ben Stokes and captain Ajinkya Rahane hampered the hosts in the chase.
But with Buttler going strong from one end depsite fatigue cropping in, and some big hits from Stuart Binny (22) and Krishnappa Gowtham (13), Rajasthan got ever so close to the target.
In the end, Buttler got Rajasthan over the line with just a ball to spare to keep his side in IPL 2018 playoff contention.