It isn’t often that someone raises questions on the captaincy of MS Dhoni. While there’s no denying that the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper’s prowess with the bat has reduced with age, his cricketing genius and the understanding of the game still remains among the best. Seeing some of his decisions against Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday, however, former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag admitted being surprised so much so that he rated Dhoni’s captaincy ‘4 on 10’.
Dhoni was lauded by fans and experts as he backed young Englishman Sam Curran and Ravindra Jadeja to bat ahead of him against Mumbai Indians. The move paid off as CSK defeated MI to register their first win of the season. Dhoni’s decision to do the same against Rajasthan, chasing a gigantic total of 217 runs, however, left many fans and experts perplexed.
Speaking to Cricbuzz, the former cricketer opined that the nature of Dhoni’s batting in the middle overs made him feel like ‘he wasn’t even trying’ to reach the target.
“The three sixes that MS Dhoni hit in the last over made it feel like CSK came close to the target, but the reality was something different. In the middle, it looked like Dhoni wasn’t even trying to chase the target considering the number of dot balls he played,” said Sehwag.
Sehwag is of the strong opinion that Dhoni should’ve batted higher up in the order or at least should have sent Ravindra Jadeja before Kedar Jadhav, who isn’t as good when it comes to hitting big shots in comparison to the southpaw.
‘MS Dhoni should’ve batted after Sam Curran’
“I feel Dhoni could’ve batted higher up or even sent Ravindra Jadeja to bat after Sam Curran got out. The run-rate slowed down in the middle overs. If that hadn’t happened and about 20-22 runs were required to win in the last over, the three sixes that Dhoni hit would’ve made people say ‘wow, what a finish’,” the 41-year-old stressed.
“If over 30 runs are required, those three sixes wouldn’t make a difference. I think Dhoni could’ve batted over Kedar Jadhav at least. The number of balls Jadhav played, had Dhoni been the one facing them, CSK wouldn’t have finished with the deficit of 17-18 runs that they did,” he further explained.
Another flaw that Sehwag found in the captaincy of Dhoni against Rajasthan was when he persisted with spin bowling in the form of Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja despite seeing Sanju Samson take them for a ride. Chawla was the second-most expensive bowler for CSK in the match, conceding 55 runs in 4 overs while Jadeja leaked 40 runs and also went wicket-less.
“Even while CSK were fielding, Dhoni’s captaincy had some strange decisions. He continued giving overs to Jadeja and Piyush Chawla despite them leaking runs. The four overs that CSK’s spinners bowled to Sanju Samson, put the game in Rajasthan’s favour,” Sehwag highlighted.
“Dhoni then brought Lungi Ngidi who dismissed Samson a then Chawla was brought back into the attack. In his final two overs, Chawla only conceded 8 runs. This shows that Dhoni should’ve made these changes earlier,” said Viru.
— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) September 23, 2020
MS Dhoni wrong to persist with spinners against Sanju Samson’
The decision to continue with the spinners against Samson and his own batting position were the two ‘glitches’ Sehwag feels in Dhoni’s captaincy that prevented CSK from winning the match.
“He had two ‘glitches’ in his captaincy against RR. First in terms of making spinners bowl to Samson and second in terms of his batting position. If I have to rate Dhoni’s captaincy today, I will probably give him a four out of ten,” asserted Sehwag.
Dhoni, in the post-match presentation ceremony, admitted that the decision to send younger players above him was only experimental. In the later stages of the tournament, if such a need arises, he is likely to bat higher up, just as he is known for.
Source: Times Now