“Had the game in hand, but…”: Ruturaj Gaikwad on reason behind CSK’s 1st home loss in IPL 2024


PTI, Apr 24, 2024, 8:21 AM IST

Lucknow Super Giants skipper KL Rahul was all praise for Marcus Stoinis’ match-winning 63-ball-124 not out against Chennai Super Kings as he felt that the home team’s score of 210 for 4 was at least 30 runs above-par on that particular Chepauk track.

Stoinis’ special effort overshadowed a classy century by CSK skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad in their IPL match on Tuesday as LSG won by six wickets. Meanwhile, CSK skipper Gaikwad, whose century went in vain felt that dew played a big role towards the latter half of the match.

“Tough pill to swallow but LSG played a good game at the end. We had the game in hand around the 13th over, but hats off to Stoinis.

“There was a huge part that the dew played. It took the spinners away from the game. We could have taken the game deeper. But it is a part of the game, you can’t control the uncontrollable.”

Player of the match Stoinis said: “It is not just a go go. It was ebb and flow. There were some bowlers we targeted, some against whom we were cautious. Nicky Pooran played a good innings, Hooda also.

“It ebbed and flowed. From the inside, you are always structuring. You are liking some bowlers, not liking others much.”

Rahul, who once said strike-rates are over-rated in T20s, admitted that a total like 180 which was considered challenging might not be enough in the day and age of ‘Impact Player’.

“Very special (win), especially when it is a game like that. It felt like we were way behind the game in the chase. Just to pull off a victory feels special,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Rahul said their win against CSK in Lucknow had little context on a very different Chennai deck.

“These were different conditions. They got off to a good start and put pressure on the bowlers. I didn’t think it was a 210 wicket.

“They batted really well. All credits to Stoinis. He was phenomenal to watch. It was not just power hitting, but was smart batting.”

Sending Stoinis at No. 3 was a smart move by LSG management and Rahul feels they had to take a “brave” call.

“We wanted to be a lot braver as a team. We had three games, a couple at home, and some away where we couldn’t go past 170. We needed one power hitter in the top three. That was the thought process.

“I have also realised that T20 cricket has changed in the last couple of years – 170-180 does not always cut it. You have to go harder in the powerplay.

“The Impact player gives you depth and that gives you more freedom. I have not played T20 cricket in a long time.”

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Asked if Nicholas Pooran can play up the order, the skipper said save him and Quinton de Kock as openers, none of the other positions are fixed.

“There is no set plan. Apart from the openers everyone is set to go at any point. The last game, Pooran walked in at three. Hope I get the fielder of the award.”

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