On a wicket that was difficult to bat on, MS Dhoni's side Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) had put up a total of 160 on the scoreboard. Dhoni had enough options with the ball in the side, and yet RPS could not defend the total against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Sunday.
The ball was turning square at times. Things were getting difficult for the KKR batsmen during the middle overs. But, Suryakumar Yadav, Andre Russell and Yusuf Pathan contributed with the bat to take their side over the line.
RPS succumbed to their fourth straight defeat in IPL 2016. This is the first time that Dhoni has lost four matches in a row in the IPL with coach Stephen Fleming far from happy with his team's performance.
Fleming felt the total was defendable, as the wicket was not an easy one to bat on. The former New Zealand skipper also stated that his side leaked way too many easy runs.
"160 was a good to very good score on this surface. We saw there was a lot of assistance for the slow bowlers, but we still did not adjust. We did not use that spin to create enough pressure. We kept Kolkata in the game," Fleming was quoted as saying by Cricinfo.
"They hit well at crucial times, but our fielding and the bowling... the slow bowling in particular towards the middle overs was left wanting and that is disappointing. 161 was easily defendable.
"I thought today's performance was poor, performance in the field was I thought very poor. I was pretty angry with the way things went today so my morale needs a bit of boost."
R Ashwin, who has always been MS Dhoni's go-to man, could not make an impact in this game. He has not been finishing his quota of four overs in most of the matches in this ongoing edition of the IPL, and Fleming feels the offspinner needs to find his rhythm again.
"I would have thought that he could have played a key role. But in terms of that line in the first six overs, he just struggled to get to grips with the pace and line he wanted to bowl. So we have to look at that but if we get conditions like that again I think he himself would concede he can be better," Fleming added.