Mukesh Choudhary
Chennai Super Kings' Mukesh Choudhary and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrate a dismissal during the Indian Premier League 2022 match against Sunrisers Hyderabad at MCA Stadium in Pune on Sunday. Image Credit: IPL Twitter

Pune: Chennai Super Kings’ left-arm pace bowler Mukesh Choudhary has emerged as the unlikely hero for the four-time Indian Premier League champions, with the 25-year-old pairing up with the likes of Dwaine Pretorius and Mitchell Santner to torment the Sunrisers Hyderabad batters at the MCA Stadium on Sunday.

Choudhary’s excellent figures of 4-0-46-4 were the main reason, besides the record-breaking partnership between Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway, that led the defending champions to their third win in nine outings in IPL 2022.

Choudhary said post-match that with Dwayne Bravo not in the playing XI on Sunday, there was more responsibility on him to take early wickets, and “it came off”. Choudhary dismissed Abhishek Sharma and Rahul Tripathi in the powerplay, denting Sunrisers Hyderabad early in the chase.

“I tried to go for wickets with the new ball and it came off. There was more responsibility in the powerplay especially without Bravo, because he has so much experience and he keeps advising us. He told me (before the match) that I have to take more responsibility. The team environment is always very supportive. At the end, MS Dhoni didn’t tell me anything special about that last over. He just told me to bowl stump to stump, avoid no balls and not try anything fancy,” said Choudhary.

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Left-arm pacer Mukesh Choudhary celebates one of his four dismissals against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Image Credit: Chennai Super Kings Twitter

All praise

Dhoni too was all praise for Choudhary, saying that he had graduated from first-class and age-group cricket to the big league.

“It’s good to see Mukesh (Choudhary) doing that for us. He took a few games, now he’s bowling well. You can get away with a lot of things in first-class cricket and age-group cricket. But over here you can’t really get away with too many things. You need to be consistent, need to know what you’re doing and accept the shortcomings. Unless you accept the shortcoming, the process of becoming strong in the areas you’re weak takes more time. So acceptance and honesty is the key,” said the veteran wicketkeeper-batter.

Chennai Super Kings will next be seen in action against Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 4.