Former Pakistan batsman Javed Miandad believes that MS Dhoni is not match-fit at the moment. He is of the opinion that this has affected his reflexes and timing, resulting in a string of low scores for the former India skipper.
MS Dhoni had come into IPL 2020 following a layoff of more than a year. The last competitive game he had played in was the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in July 2019.
Talking to The Indian Express, Miandad admitted that MS Dhoni was physically fit, but stressed on the point that this was entirely different from match fitness.
“Your physical ability is inversely proportional to your age. As you grow older, your physical ability goes down and you must work harder on your fitness to get going at the highest level […] Physically Dhoni is still very fit. I am talking about his match fitness. For a player of Dhoni’s age, it becomes even more difficult […] To me, the problem areas are his timing and reflexes. If a player is not totally match-fit, his timing and reflexes get slower,” Miandad said.
Javed Miandad pointed out that the body positions MS Dhoni gets into are not quite ideal and hinder his ability to time the ball. This is again due to a lack of match-fitness. Putting in a bit more effort in the training sessions should help him out, said the former Pakistan skipper.
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“What I have seen, his body positions were not right for certain shots. This is a reason why he is struggling with his timing […] My suggestion to Dhoni will be to increase his exercise drills and batting time at the nets. If he is doing 20 sit-ups (for example), he can increase it to 30. If he doing five sprints, he can increase it to eight. If he is spending an hour at the nets for batting practice, he can increase it to two hours,” Miandad added.
MS Dhoni has not had the best of IPL seasons with the bat so far
This IPL season has not been productive for MS Dhoni so far. He has been able to score a meagre 136 runs from nine games at a strike rate of 132.03, which is not ideal for a player of his calibre.
His slump in form has not been helpful for the Chennai Super Kings. The three-time IPL champions have lost six out of their nine games so far and find themselves in sixth place in the IPL 2020 points table.
CSK will need to win at least four of their remaining five matches to have any chance of qualifying for the playoffs. They would be hoping for MS Dhoni to get back into form for this to happen.
The Chennai-based franchise will now face the struggling Rajasthan Royals at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Monday.Published 18 Oct 2020, 14:46 IST