IPL 2019: Dhoni's absence a massive boost for Mumbai Indians, says Rohit

In the Dhoni’s absence, MI thrashed CSK by 46 runs on Friday to brighten its chances of qualifying for the playoffs.

Suresh Raina took over the reigns in MS Dhoni's absence against Mumbai Indians.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s name not figuring in the Chennai Super Kings team sheet owing to fever was a massive boost for Mumbai Indians ahead of its return-leg IPL fixture, feels skipper Rohit Sharma.

In the talisman’s absence, MI thrashed CSK by 46 runs on Friday to brighten its chances of qualifying for the playoffs.

READ | Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga shine as Mumbai beats Chennai by 46 runs

“It was a massive boost that MSD wasn’t around. Because his presence does a lot for their team. When you don’t have Dhoni when they’re chasing the score, then it becomes difficult for them,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“I’m sure his presence was missed by CSK. But he was sick, it’s not in his control either,” added the right-handed batsman, who struck 67, his first fifty of the season.

Rohit said it was a blessing in disguise for him to lose the toss as his side too wanted to chase on what eventually turned out to be another slow Chepauk pitch.

“I thought it was better to lose the toss since we wanted to chase as well. But we knew whether we bat first or bowl first, we’ll still have to play good cricket. We spoke about that at the start of the game, but it was a great effort by the boys since it’s not easy to come here and play,” he said.

The India opener was mighty relived to have scored his first half-century of the season on Friday.

“It was a satisfying innings. I was getting 30s and 40s but not getting half-centuries. At no point was I worried about my form because I was hitting the ball well. I knew the day will come, and I guess today was the day,” he said.

CSK stand-in skipper Suresh Raina blamed the team’s batting department for the loss.

READ | Why Kedar Jadhav's CSK form is not a worry for World Cup

“We didn’t bat well. We kept losing wickets every 2-3 overs, so our batsmen need to take more responsibility. Our bowling has always been good this season. We thought 155 was chaseable. But we lost too many wickets in the powerplay and middle overs,” he said.

“We didn’t rotate the strike well either. It is important to go out there and see a few balls out, and then decide which bowler you want to go after. We need to sit as a batting unit and see where we’re going wrong.

“We have power hitters, we have experienced batsmen, we just need to relax as a batting unit.”