Mumbai Indians skipper Harbhajan Singh admitted that it was his counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni's innings of unbeaten 51 off 20 balls that turned the tide in the favour of Chennai Super Kings during the crucial eliminator of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium here Wednesday.
"Obviously, we are disappointed, but cannot change the result, Super Kings played like champions," said Harbhajan after his team was knocked out of the IPL as they lost the eliminator by 38 runs to the defending champions.
On Dhoni's innings, Harbhajan said: "Dhoni´s innings was the game-changer, took it away from us. We could not do too much about his innings, we have not achieved as much as we should have. The reason for removing myself from the attack was to get Rudra Pratap Singh a bowl, first ball he bowled, the edge should have gone to hand and missed."
Dhoni said it was stroke of luck that helped Super Kings make the first qualifier.
"We were just watching and enjoying the games when we were done with our league stage, all the results went our way. Maybe I should keep my hair longer if it can get me the runs," he said.
Dhoni also lauded his batsmen for a sterling show that helped Super Kings recover from a poor start. Man of the Match Dhoni leading from the front with an unbeaten 51 off just 20 balls while Dwayne Bravo struck 33 not out in 14 balls that took the defending champions to 187 for five in 20 overs.
Mike Hussey (49) and Subramaniam Badrinath (47) also came up with valuable innings after Super Kings made a disastrous start.
"A lot of credit to Badri and Hussey. Badri is an unsung hero, later me and Bravo could do well with the bat. The helicopter shot was because of the tennis ball cricket, used to play from 17-18 yards and the bowlers sent down a lot of yorkers but not an easy shot to play either, could end up hitting the ankles as well!" he said.
Bravo said he enjoyed batting with Dhoni.
"Batting with Mahi makes my job easier, I know his ability to trike the ball. It wasn´t a typical Bangalore wicket. We were very pleased with it," he said.
Asked what did he tell his fellow Trinidadian Kieron Pollard after dismissing him, Bravo said: "Two days ago he (Pollard) sent me a message asking me to pack my bags and go home ...it was my turn today to tell him."