It's hard to imagine Chennai Super Kings without their skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. After playing for the men in yellow in 121 successive matches, Dhoni missed out on a contest for the first time since March 23, 2010, when CSK came out to play against SunRisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Wednesday.
The 37-year-old was given rest following a back spasm and Suresh Raina was chosen as the stand-in captain.
Batting first, CSK got off to a solid start with an opening-wicket stand of 79 between Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis. Tragedy struck and 29 balls, 22 runs, 5 wickets later, CSK were left reeling at 101 for 5 in 14.4 overs. Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja tried to rescue the sinking ship but could only push CSK's score to 132 for 5.
SRH's intentions were clear and the openers David Warner (50 off 25) and Jonny Bairstow (61* off 44) once again got the job done for their team, defeating the Dhoni-less CSK by 6 wickets and 19 balls to spare.
This was CSK's only second loss in the ongoing season of IPL.
Missing their captain's paramount presence, disappointed CSK fans imagined their team with and without Dhoni.
Just look how ordinary CSK appears when Captain MS Dhoni is not part of the team. #SRHvCSK— Sir Jadeja fan (@SirJadeja) April 17, 2019
1. CSK with MSDApril 17, 2019
Even without any Indian star players in team still SRH has its own fanbaseApril 17, 2019
Pic 1: #CSK with DhoniApril 17, 2019
With DHONI. without DHONI. pic.twitter.com/5fYgQtYaM6— Sarcastic Dude (@Kartiktweaks) April 17, 2019
However, there was something for the crowd to cheer about when the camera panned to Dhoni, who was present at the Hyderabad stadium to watch his team play.
Dhoni on gaint screen and Hyderabad crowd goes berserk pic.twitter.com/AQIzYtMahB— DHONIsm™ ❤️ (@DHONIism) April 17, 2019
Just They Showed Him On Screen..
Crowd Started Chanting "DHONI..DHONI.."💛🔥 pic.twitter.com/PYToELXpYb— Troll CSK Haters™ (@CSK_Offl) April 17, 2019
Every time Dhoni Was Shown on Big Screen..We All Went Bonkers in the Stadium. https://t.co/FCk1KooK4p— HARI KIRAN (@harikiranroyal) April 17, 2019
Despite the defeat, CSK is comfortably placed at the top of the table with 14 points. SRH, on the other hand, registered their fourth victory of the tournament and climbed to the 5th spot.