Bengaluru, Sept. 24: After returning to competitive cricket following a 437-hiatus, fans are yet to see their favourite cricketer smashing it out in the middle of the park and winning it for his team.
Though MS Dhoni hit the ball out of the park with three huge sixes in CSK’s final over against the Rajasthan Royals, the former Indian skipper’s time in the middle was not as much as one would have liked. CSK went on to lose the match by 16 runs.
And this raises questions as to why the former Indian skipper came in to bat at No. 7. While fans have missed seeing their favourite cricketer hitting the ball, experts have criticised Dhoni for coming in to bat lower down the order, especially when Chennai was losing the plot.
While former India opener Gautam Gambhir had lashed out at Dhoni’s decision to come in at No. 7, former England player Kevin Pietersen refused to buy Dhoni’s justification to come in to bat so late.
Speaking on the post-match show on Star Sports, after Chennai’s game against Rajasthan, KP said, “It’s not about experiments, saying 'oh it’s early on in the tournament.’ Let me tell you, T20 cricket can bite you very, very quickly. You can end up losing five games on the go very quickly and then you can end up thinking 'oh my goodness, are we actually going to get into the finals?’ I am not buying this nonsense!”
Pietersen added that had Dhoni batted up the order, Chennai could have won the match. “You have to at least give yourself the opportunity to win the game. When you see how close they went, Du Plessis started to go, then MS Dhoni started hitting at the end and then they lost by only 16 runs. So we were talking about a 4 or 5-over period when they were just knocking it around, knocking it around and running silly singles.
“They could have caught the game up there with a little bit of intent. They could have easily knocked this score off. If you need 20 in the last over, you can win this game,” KP had said.
After the match Dhoni had said that they were trying different things and wanted to try sending Sam Curran or Ravindra Jadeja up the other. But after the loss it will be interesting to see if the Chennai skipper tweaks the line-up and comes up the order during their match against the Delhi Capitals on Friday.
Chennai have won one match and lost one.