In the first qualifier against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), which CSK won by two wickets, Bravo failed with the bat. Du Plessis, who had faced just three balls off the four overs bowled, had until then been more of an onlooker as he saw the top order walking back to the dugout more frequently than him getting the strike. "So try to get through him as much as you can". Du Plessis said that he had waited to hit Carlos Brathwaite specifically smashing the West Indian for three fours and a six in an 18th over. SRH coach Tom Moody's extra efforts on the eve of the match to train Carlos Braithwaite (29-ball 43) harder for the slog overs bore fruits yesterday when the 2016 World T20 final hero resurrected Sunrisers Hyderabad from a hopeless situation.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was soaking in everything with his usual calm demeanour before attributing Chennai Super Kings' seventh IPL final appearance to "dressing room atmosphere", a far cry from the awe that was best summed up by a popular teammate's groovy tribute. Williamson said in the post-match press conference.
With Kumar and Kaul bowling in tandem, du Plessis was once again just an onlooker as Dhoni tried to fend away their overs. A little while later Dwayne Bravo edged the leg-spinner to slip, and Ravindra Jadeja hit one straight back to Sandeep Sharma; CSK were in deep trouble at 62-6.
Du Plessis also acknowledged captain Dhoni's desire to win the IPL this season, with whom he has shared the dressing room since 2012 including two years at Rising Pune Supergiant. CSK's opponents had not yet been determined as of press time May 22. He's really proud of this team, and he's like the big brother of the team, so it's nice that most of us are back here. Shradul Thakur played cameo innings of 15 runs off5 balls.
With Dhoni choosing experience over everything else in the crunch Qualifier against Sunrisers, it was du Plessis, in his fifth match of the tournament, who walked out to open the innings with Shane Watson on Tuesday, looking to chase down 140 on one very tricky Wankhede wicket.
For Du Plessis, reflecting on how he has played on the previous occasions in Mumbai helped him gain confidence as he went out to bat.
Siddarth Kaul, bowling the 19th over, paid for his inexperience in crunch game as 17 runs came off that over as No. 10 Shardul Thakur (15 off 5 balls) got three boundaries in the 17-run over. And you can't do that without the players and the support staff. If we would've lost this match, we still would give ourselves a second chance. "It is important that we learn from this experience", he added. "Somehow we've been able to push the players into thinking about what's good for the team and keep them on track", Dhoni elaborated.