IPL 2020: MS Dhoni's current form could hurt CSK, feels Brad Hogg
MS Dhoni is leading Chennai Super Kings for the record 11th time in the Indian Premier League. He holds the record of being the longest-reigning captain for a side in the IPL. He has also won three IPL titles with the side and would be aiming to win his record-equalling fourth title.
Former three-time champions, Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who won their opening tie against defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI), succumbed to a shocking loss against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their second game of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). What was even curious was skipper MS Dhoni's lack of intent to score big when the situation demanded so.
As CSK were chasing a big total of 217, Dhoni came out to bat at number seven, with the required run-rate above 10. However, Dhoni chose to settle down first, instead of going big right from the start. With more than 36 required in the final over, Dhoni smashed four sixes in the over. Consequently, experts found Dhoni's approach confusing.
Following the game, Dhoni had said that the extended quarantine for the side didn't give him enough time for preparation with the bat. However, certain critics termed his reasons as baseless.
Meanwhile, former Australian chainman spinner and former IPL veteran Brad Hogg has said that Dhoni should have batted up the order. Also, he felt that his lack of confidence with his batting is reflecting poorly on the side, which could have an overall negative affect on the entire team.
"I am not happy with MS Dhoni's confidence. He didn't put himself in the pressure situation the other night because he wasn't prepared for the tournament. And, that for me, does not give any confidence to the team and puts a dampener on the campaign. Especially when you haven't got other leaders in the team like Harbhajan and Raina, as they could have taken a bit of the weight off his shoulders," Hogg was quoted as saying on his YouTube channel.
Meanwhile, cricket pundit Aakash Chopra defended Dhoni's current form by reasoning that since the latter was playing competitive cricket after 14 months, he would need some time to get back into the groove. He also defended Dhoni on coming down the order.
“It was also about the fact that Dhoni hadn’t played competitive cricket in 14 months. After the game against Rajasthan, he admitted that he was rusty. The long layoff, followed by the long quarantine, did not help his cause as a batsman,” Chopra wrote for ESPNCricinfo.
“What it tells me about Dhoni is that he is a realist, for he is the first to admit that his lack of confidence in his batting abilities played a part in the making of those crucial decisions. There’s a thin line between bravado and foolishness, and also a thin line that separates caution and fear,” he added.
“I think the idea of demoting himself in the first two games was not to shy away from the responsibilities of a leader but to give Chennai the best shot at winning the game. Dhoni felt that he wasn’t ready to bring the team home and chose not to let ego come in the way of a pragmatic decision," he wrote further.
“He started this tournament with no form whatsoever and has now worked himself into some kind of form, with the three sixes in the final over against the Royals. As the matches shift to venues where scores in excess of 200 won’t come about too often, Dhoni might quietly start fitting himself into places in the batting order, from where he will be able to make significant contributions to wins,” he concluded.