Two great batsmen. Two great finishers. Two of the great Indian captains. Yet, both MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli have failed to lead by example in IPL 2020, and thus, have their teams in fifth and sixth positions respectively in the points table.
The duo will lock horns tonight as Chennai Super Kings take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in Dubai. While a convincing win might take the three-time IPL champions closer to a playoffs berth, RCB has a two-point lead over CSK and would look to break into the top 3 of the IPL 2020 points table.
Fans had a huge smile on their faces as MS Dhoni came into IPL 2020 after a year-long sabbatical, but those smiles have faded in the last three weeks. The Bangalore-based side, however, has not been affected by Virat Kohli’s lean patch as other players have stepped up in three of the five matches they have played.
MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli have had poor starts to IPL 2020
MS Dhoni may have the fourth-highest average (51) among players who have played at least six matches this season, but the CSK skipper has scored only 102 runs so far.
Criticised for batting too low down the order, MS Dhoni’s highest score in IPL 2020 has been an unbeaten 47 off 36 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The numbers, however, don’t reflect the real picture as it was only a late flourish that soared the score, much like his unbeaten 29 in the second game against Rajasthan Royals. Notably, CSK lost both those games.
Virat Kohli, on the other hand, had arguably his worst possible start to an IPL season. The RCB captain accumulated a meagre 18 runs off 29 deliveries in the first three games. However, the rest of the team compensated for his poor form by helping RCB win two of those matches. Apart from having scored just 133 runs, the number that hits one in the face is his strike-rate of 109.91.
The Indian captain, though, silenced all his critics in the next match against Rajasthan Royals by stroking a match-winning 72 not out off 53 balls. Virat Kohli seems to have finally got his mojo back as he followed it up with a 39-ball 43 against Delhi Capitals on Monday. Unfortunately, he fought a lone battle as RCB fell to a 59-run loss.
Fans sat up straight on seeing MS Dhoni walk in at No. 4 against KKR on Wednesday. Though he couldn’t deliver the goods having perished for a 12-ball 11, it would be intriguing to see if he can get back among the runs tonight and make the slot his own in an otherwise out-of-shape CSK line-up.Published 10 Oct 2020, 15:24 IST