Watch: As the ‘El Classico’ of the IPL approached its end, the crowd at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai chanted for MS Dhoni, the visiting captain.
Barring the initial overs, Mumbai Indians never seemed in control of their match against Chennai Super Kings, even on home turf at the Wankhede Stadium.
When captain Rohit Sharma fell, Mumbai were 38-1 after four overs, before they slumped to 76-5 and later 131-8 before recovering to 157-8 as Ravindra Jadeja (3-20), Mitchell Santner (2-28), and Tushar Deshpande (2-31) kept chipping away at the wickets.
In response, Jason Behrendorff got Devon Conway with the fourth ball of the Chennai innings, but Ajinkya Rahane (61 in 27 balls) blazed away to the fastest fifty of IPL 2023. After Rahane fell, Ruturaj Gaikwad (40 not out in 36) saw Chennai through with seven wickets and 34 balls in hand.
As Gaikwad and No.5 Ambati Rayudu brought the target down to seven from 14 balls, the Wankhede crowd insisted on a Dhoni appearance. Chants of “we want Dhoni” reverberated around the stadium.
Touring captains are seldom this popular, but then, Dhoni and Wankhede share a special bonding. After India won the 2007 T20 World Cup, under Dhoni, the Indian team went on an open-top bus ride through Mumbai, ending at the Wankhede.
Four years later, Dhoni promoted himself to steer India to their second World Cup triumph, in 2011. Dhoni’s winning hit landed in the stands. Earlier this week, the Mumbai Cricket Association announced that they would be naming the relevant seats after Dhoni.
Watch the Mumbai crowd chant for Dhoni:
WE WANT DHONI, Wholesome #CSKvsMIpic.twitter.com/xjqABw1x3a
— Prayag (@theprayagtiwari) April 8, 2023
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