Chennai: Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the Chennai Super Kings dressing room remained calm despite a wobbly start against the Rajasthan Royals in an IPL match here as the side knew that batting would get easier owing to the dew factor.
Super Kings posted 175 for five on Sunday night and Dhoni led the team's recovery from 27 for three with an unbeaten 75 off 46 balls. The hosts restricted Royals to 167 for eight to win the game by eight runs.
"We wanted to get a partnership going - that was needed. We knew there was some dew on the field. We knew it would get easier as the game progresses. We bat quite deep - until 9 and knew we could accelerate in the last few overs," said Dhoni at the post-match presentation after Super Kings' registered their third straight win.
He explained why he brought in left-arm spinner Mitchell Santer.
"We have a stable XI and there were a lot less left-handers in the opposition, so we gave Mitch Santner a go. It isn't that important to make changes if not necessary.
"As the tournament progresses everyone will get more chances. As the tournament progresses, bowlers start executing their plans much better.
" Initially I thought we would look at how the fast bowlers would bowl so we could bring in the spinners. Jadeja and Santner found it hard to grip the ball. Irrespective of the results, it is important to cut the boundaries and it is difficult for the fast bowlers to execute."
He also appreciated the loyal support of the vociferous Chennai crowd.
"The home franchise will always get more support than the opposition. That's where spirit of the game comes in - the crowd is always behind the home team.
"That's what makes cricket very interesting. As long as you're on the field and spending money to come and watch, I don't mind which team you're supporting," he added.
Opposition skipper Ajinkya Rahane felt Royals lost the game in the last five overs of the Super Kings' innings.
"I am very disappointed. We started off really well in the first ten overs, but what cost us were the last five overs. When MS bats it is very difficult for the bowlers. It was very hard for the bowlers to grip the ball after six overs, even the fast bowlers.
"But CSK bowled really well, they kept taking wickets. As a batting unit we need to take the responsibility for this.
"We have played well in the last three games and hopefully with some luck we'll be able to turn it around," said Rahane after the team's third consecutive loss.