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IPL 2017: MS Dhoni should play his natural game, says former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee

Dhoni
Dhoni was removed as captain of the Pune franchise before the start of the season
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 13 Apr 2017
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What’s the story?

Former Australian fast bowler-turned-commentator, Brett Lee, believes that MS Dhoni has to play his natural game to get back in the runs. In an interview with India Today, Lee said that he hoped the former Indian captain scores big and that going back to his natural game could be the way. 

Extra Cover: "Take your ego and leave it at home", Brett Lee's advice to T20 bowlers

“I think MS Dhoni should try and play his natural game. I am not going to sit here and say this is how he should bat because he has been a wonderful player batsman and captain. Just hope he can play his natural game,” Lee said to India Today.

The background

Dhoni, who led the Rising Pune Supergiant last season, was stripped of his captaincy this season, with the franchise choosing to give the role to current Australian captain, Steve Smith. In the three matches that RPS have played in IPL 2017, Dhoni has had scores of 12 not out, 5, and 11 runs, with the bat. 

The wicketkeeper-batsman has not played much international cricket, with his last international game being the 3rd T20I against England in Bengaluru where he scored a run-a-ball 56. 

The heart of the matter

Dhoni has had a dismal run with the bat in this year’s IPL with Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane outshining him for the Pune franchise this season.

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Lee also spoke about the competition that the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman has in the national team from youngsters like Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson, who have impressed with the bat in the IPL, but the Australian believes that the competition for places will do Dhoni more harm than good. 

The Australian said that rivalry for spots in the team will make the former Indian skipper ‘hungry and train harder’.

What’s next?

Rising Pune Supergiant have played three games this season, winning one and losing two, and are 7th in the IPL table. 

Extra Cover: MS Dhoni inspirational while Steven Smith very approachable as a skipper, says Mayank Agarwal

Dhoni and the team will look to have positive performances and results in the upcoming matches with their next game in Rajkot against Gujarat Lions on April 14th, followed by a trip to Bengaluru to face Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 16th.

Author’s Take

It hasn’t been vintage MS Dhoni in the IPL with the controversy over his captaincy of the franchise as well as other off-field incidents seemingly playing a part in his performances on the field.

It is unfair on the part of Dhoni’s critics to take a dig at his poor performances as he has not had much match practice in the run-up to the IPL. It is only a matter of time before the Dhoni of old shines on the IPL stage.

Published 13 Apr 2017, 12:41 IST
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