CSK Vs PBKS, IPL 2024: Ruturaj Gaikwad Rues Absence Of Key Bowlers, Dew After Loss

CSK had to make two changes for the match as their Sri Lankan pacer Pathirana was nursing a niggle and Deshpande was unwell

Sam Curran (R) shakes hands with Ruturaj Gaikwad after match Photo: X/@IPL

The absence of two frontline bowlers, Matheesha Pathirana and Tushar Deshpande, and copious amount of dew at the Chepauk Stadium hurt Chennai Super Kings in their seven-wicket defeat against Punjab Kings in Chennai on Wednesday, reckoned skipper Ruturaj Gaikward. (As It Happened | Scorecard)

CSK could only muster a below-par 162/7. Gaikwad made a handsome 62 but other batters struggled against accurate spin bowling by Harpreet Brar and Rahul Chahar.

CSK had to make two changes for the match as their Sri Lankan pacer Pathirana was nursing a niggle and Deshpande was unwell.

Replacements Richard Gleeson and Shardul Thakur failed to impress as heavy dew set in during PBKS's chase.

"It is a real problem (not having Pathirana and Deshpande). There are phases where you want to get a wicket, and you have only two bowlers, plus the spinners are out of the question because of the dew. Can't do much," Gaikwad rued during the post-match presentation.

The skipper added that the dew compounded CSK's problem as they tried to restrict PBKS batters.

"It's very difficult. Even in the last game, we were quite surprised that we would win by that much margin.

"This (dew) is something we can't control. We can slightly bat better in the first innings. In the last two games, we tried our best to get 200-210. It was tough to get 180 in this pitch," he said.

Gaikwad said another 50-60 runs would have made the difference.

"50-60 runs short to be honest. When we were batting first, the pitch wasn't great, plus the dew as well (in the second innings)."

The skipper also rued his luck with the toss, saying despite trying his best, he couldn't find the right formula to call it right.

"I have practised (toss) a lot. I have tossed it in the match. I am winning in the practice, but not winning in the match. What to do. I am really under pressure at the toss, not at the game," said Gaikwad.

PBKS' stand-in skipper Sam Curran who played a crucial role with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 26, said beating CSK at their home turf was always a great feeling.

"Anytime you come to Chennai and get two points, it is a huge feeling. Last year also we lost all our home games and won the away games. We are getting a hint of the formulas."

Curran said winning the toss gave PBKS a massive advantage, given the dew factor which comes into play in the second innings.

"Pretty obvious, winning the toss was huge. KG (Kagiso) Rabada set the tone wonderfully. We thought today we'll give him the new ball and he stormed in."

Leg-spinner Chahar was simply unplayable and returned figures of 2/16. Curran acknowledged the role of spinners.

"Chahar has come back into the team really well. We tried something different in the 19th over. He showed the confidence to bowl to MS (Dhoni), which was great. The spinners were the pick of the bowlers.

"I bowled and got hit. The pace bowlers were going all the way, so thankfully it (spin) worked. This game is tough for the bowlers, we have got to be creative," added Curran.

Rilee Rossouw, who scored 43 for PBKS, said his side could still enter the playoffs.

"Never over till it's over. We have the belief that we can make the playoffs. Hopefully, we can turn things around."