Mahendra Singh Dhoni, batting at number 7, while chasing 217 for his team Chennai Super Kings (CSK) against Rajasthan Royals (RR), made no sense to Gautam Gambhir, his former team-mate and now a Member of Parliament.
“I was a bit surprised, to be honest. MS Dhoni batting at No. 7? And sending Gaikwad before him, Sam Curran before him. Makes no sense to me. In fact you should be leading from the front. And this is not what you call leading from the front. Batting at number seven when you’re chasing what 217? Gambhir was quoted so by a website.
Dhoni came in to bat in the 14th over of the innings with CSK at 114/5.
“Yes, you can talk about MS Dhoni’s last over when he hit three sixes, but it was of no use, to be honest. It was just all personal runs. See, if someone else would have done this, some other captain had batted number seven, he would have got a lot of flak. It is MS Dhoni – probably why people don’t talk about it. When you don’t have Suresh Raina, you’re making people believe that Sam Curran is better than you. You’re making people believe that Ruturaj Gaikwad, Curran, Kedar Jadhav, Faf du Plessis, M Vijay, all these guys, are better than you,” he added.
Dhoni found going a little tough initially as he was able to score just nine runs off his first twelve balls, but in the final over as CSK needed 38 to win, Dhoni was able to smash 20 runs, including three sixes.
“There is nothing wrong if you end up getting out early, at least start leading from the front, trying to inspire the team as well. What you did in the last over, probably if you’d done that coming in at No. 4 or 5, alongside Faf, you could have made a game out of it. But probably there was no such intent to make a game out of it,” said Gambhir.
” So I thought it was an absolute miscalculation, probably not the right captaincy as well. This is not how you ask someone like MS to lead the side,” he added.
The MS Dhoni-led side posted 200 in the end but they still lost the match by 16 runs.
Earlier, Sanju Samson played a knock of 74 runs from just 32 balls to take Rajasthan Royals’ total to 216/7 in the allotted twenty overs. Skipper Steve Smith also made 69.