Stephen Fleming: 'Dhoni's batting in this IPL has been excellent'

“Some of our players were absolutely gobsmacked at the way Dhoni finished the game," Fleming said about Dhoni's match-winning 70 off 34 deliveries.

Chennai Super Kings M S Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo celebrates the win over Royal Challengers Bangalore during the IPL 2018 match at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru   -  PTI

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head-coach Stephen Fleming described M.S. Dhoni’s match-winning, unbeaten 70 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as one of the best knocks he has seen.

“Some of our players were absolutely gobsmacked at the way Dhoni finished the game. Having seen it so many times before, the expectations are so high. Yes, we haven’t seen it (Dhoni finishes) as much - the gaps between them have been bigger. But his batting in this IPL season has been excellent. Today’s knock was one of the best I’ve seen,” Fleming said on Wednesday.

In the 19th over, bowled by pacer Mohammed Siraj, Dhoni sliced a low full toss over point for six. “It was one of the top-three shots that I’ve ever seen. To hit that shot in that situation - it was ice cool,” Fleming stated.

The former New Zealand international praised Ambati Rayudu for his crucial 53-ball 82. “Dhoni will get all the headlines, but the innings from Rayudu was outstanding as well. Rayudu has been the form player for us," Fleming said.

RCB’s decision to give Corey Anderson the last over has received a lot of flak. In general, RCB’s bowling unit has been disappointing this season, especially during the death overs.

Wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock, who scored a fine 53, was asked for the rationale behind giving Anderson the ball for the final over. “I’m just a ‘keeper standing at the back. I’m not part of the leadership group. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything," de Kock replied, adding, "We did think about Anderson bowling from around the wicket, but you cannot bowl into the legs with two fielders on the short boundary (leg-side). We wanted the batters to hit to the longer boundary (off-side).”

As for the death bowling woes, de Kock stated, "Bowling in the death is a tough job. I thought Siraj bowled unbelievably well in his last two overs. Unfortunately, Dhoni hit a couple of good shots. We'll go back to the drawing board and come back better."