IPL 2020: What issues does MS Dhoni need to solve ahead of SRH tie?
MS Dhoni has not had the best start to the ongoing Indian Premier League season with Chennai Super Kings. CSK are at the bottom of the league table, having lost two of their three matches, so far. Their only win has been against defending champions, Mumbai Indians.
MS Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have a long-standing relation, ever since the Indian Premier League (IPL) came into the existence, in 2008. However, 2020 has not been the ideal one for both, so far.
Not only that CSK have lost two matches in their opening three games, as they are lurking at the bottom of the table, Dhoni, who is coming off a 14-month break, is yet to fire. While he has shown a glimpse of what he can do with the bat, he has failed to steer his side to convincing wins, so far.
Come Friday, the pressure would an all-time high on Dhoni, as he looks to for a must-win against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Meanwhile, renowned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar feels that Dhoni's prime focus would be to lead from the front.
"Chennai Super Kings as a team has rarely been under pressure in the league stage. This time they are. Even their die-hard fans have gone quiet on social media, they seem a little concerned. They look towards MS Dhoni for salvation," Majrekar wrote in his column for Times of India.
"Chennai's approach has been very unique in the tournament, it's a team that is the opposite of Mumbai, who have virtually every member in their team capable of winning a T20 game on their own. Chennai may not compare with Mumbai as well, in this regard, but as a unit, it is as match-winning one. And, for this to happen, they need Dhoni at the helm," added Manjrekar.
Dhoni, who holds the record for being the longest-reigning captain of any side in the tournament, has led the side to the playoffs on all occasions to date. His only failure as captain came in 2016 when he failed to steer Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) past the group stage.
"Any other captain would not be able to extract what Dhoni does from this team and when Chennai eventually have to look at life beyond Dhoni, we may see a completely different structure of the team, unless Dhoni still remains the cricket nerve centre of the franchise, then maybe not. But, this would be interesting to see this in the coming years," Manjerekar further noted.
"For now, Dhoni has some small, clinical cricketing issues to sort out - on a good pitch, he must have an additional bowling option, most teams are now starting to do that. At Chennai, they could afford to rely on Jadeja to bowl his four, in UAE, for now, at least, it's an unreliable tactic," he concluded.