CSK revels in Dhoni's 'chaos' theory

Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni's decision to promote Harbhajan Singh and Deepak Chahar in the batting order disrupted Kings XI Punjab in its quest for victory.

Harbhajan Singh (L) and Deepak Chahar played helping hands with the bat in CSK's win over Kings XI Punjab   -  BCCI/Sportzpics

Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin, who promised to be 'unpredictable' with his batting line-up, was done in by his CSK counterpart MS Dhoni's - during Sunday night's encounter - move to promote bowlers Harbhajan Singh and Deepak Chahar up the batting order.

MATCH REPORT: CSK vs KXIP

When Kings XI's Ankit Rajpoot had dismissed Faf du Plessis and Sam Billings off back-to-back deliveries on a pitch that offered plenty of zip for the pacers, Dhoni sent Harbhajan in his place to face the hat-trick delivery in the fifth over of CSK's chase.

Harbhajan successfully negotiated Rajpoot by coming down the track and offering a straight bat to a length ball. His extended stay out in the middle - until the 11th over - shielded CSK's lower order from the swinging new ball.

Harbhajan's dismissal was followed by the arrival of Chahar at No. 6. Chahar took his time out in the middle before striking some meaty blows in his 20-ball 39. He took 21 runs off an Ashwin over which eventually knocked Kings XI out of the competition.

Explaining the decision to promote Harbhajan and Chahar, Dhoni said, "The ball was definitely swinging a bit, especially more for Ankit (Rajpoot) and the other two fast bowlers. In a game like this, you want to take as many wickets as possible when it is swinging. With Bhajji (Harbhajan) or Chahar going in, it creates a bit of chaos. The bowlers all of a sudden starts to bowl yorkers, short of length or bouncers.

"When batsmen are batting, the bowlers somehow stick to a very good line and length. With Bhajji and Chahar being around, they just lose their line and length to some extent. They also get a chance to bat. Hopefully, we won't need them. But, if we need them in the knockout stages, they can come in handy."

It is worth noting that Ashwin promoted himself up to No. 3 against Rajasthan Royals only for the ploy to back-fire. Ashwin was dismissed for a second ball duck in Kings XI's 15-run defeat.