Dhoni simply dominated us: Franklin

MI all-rounder says it was impossible to contain the CSK skipper

Bengaluru 24 May 2012
The IPL dream came down crashing once gain for the Mumbai Indians with a 38-run loss to the Chennai Super Kings in the eliminator. After a wonderful start with the ball, the match slipped out of MI’s grip when MS Dhoni went berserk and Dwayne Bravo joined him.

After the match, had a brief chat with MI all-rounder James Franklin, who although disappointed, was gracious in defeat. He even hailed the breathtaking partnership between Dhoni and Bravo that took the game away from his team. With the benefit of hindsight, Franklin also admitted the team should’ve done some things differently.

What went wrong with the bowling after a superb start?

CSK was just too good for us. We had a fantastic start by getting two early wickets but they rebuilt fantastically. There is not much you can say about the way MS played, it was something sensational and he is always the guy who steps up on the big stage. We started well with the bat but we lost too many wickets in the middle and like I said CSK was just too good for us today.

CSK have always done well in these big, must-win games. Did that play on your minds?

We knew that it was going to be a tough game as they have been the champions for the last two years. They probably thought that they were lucky to be here so they had nothing to lose and they showed what a champion side they are. I wouldn’t be surprised if they reach the final and end up winning the whole thing. They have a lot of big-match players and they showed that today.

With Dhawal Kulkarni and RP Singh swinging the new ball, wouldn’t it have been better to give them one more over each in the beginning?

That is the captain’s judgment. But yes, had we got one more wicket at that stage, we’d have been well and truly into it. Michael Hussey and Badrinath played well and they got CSK into the position where they could launch in the last seven to eight overs. You can look into the game and say that we could have done this, but we got outplayed today.

How is it to bowl to Dhoni when he is batting like that?

It is very tough. When someone is getting 50 off 21 balls, it’s impossible to bowl anywhere. Maybe we should’ve have bowled a lot more short balls to him. He dominated us and hit the balls into the crowd.

The road ahead for MI is to qualify for the 2012 CLT20. Time to focus on that?

There will be a review amongst the management of the MI in the coming weeks. They will plan out what the best is for the team, and hopefully, we put our best fight there and try and retain our title.

Is there a lot of difference between the IPL and CLT20?

IPL is a longer tournament and it’s about peaking at the right time. We got here but missed the final hurdle. Hopefully, we can come back much stronger in the Champions League. In the IPL there is lot more planning as you play the same teams over and over. In a way IPL is a tougher tournament, but we are out of it and we have to focus on the CLT20 now.
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