England all-rounder Sam Curran termed Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni a "genius" after justifying his surprise promotion in the batting order in their IPL opener against Mumbai Indians on Saturday.
After Ravindra Jadeja fell in the 19th over, leaving Chennai needing 29 off 17 deliveries, former India captain Dhoni or fellow right-hander Kedar Jadhav was expected to join Faf du Plessis in the middle.
Dhoni sent Curran instead and the 22-year-old clobbered two sixes and a four in his six-ball cameo before Chennai triumphed by five wickets with four balls to spare.
"To be honest, very surprised I went in but he's a genius, he obviously thought something," Curran said at Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Stadium. "A great win in the end."
The left-handed batsman reckoned his promotion was partly because Dhoni wanted a left-right combination and said his aggression against left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya was premeditated.
"That was the over we wanted to target - a six or out approach mentality. Take the risk, and if it comes off it comes off, if it doesn't, it doesn't."