Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has opined that MS Dhoni should bat for at least 10 overs in the Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) upcoming IPL 2020 matches. He added that the 3-time IPL champions need to field an additional bowler in their playing XI.
Pathan and Sanjay Bangar shared their views on the problems the Chennai Super Kings are facing in this year's IPL during a discussion on Star Sports' show Cricket Connected.
On being asked if MS Dhoni's search for a finisher is proving costly for the Chennai Super Kings, Irfan Pathan responded that the team is looking unsettled for the first time in IPL history.
"For the first time it is looking that the Chennai Super Kings team is not settled. They had problems before the start of the IPL, Suresh Raina went back and they have not taken a replacement for him till now."
He reasoned that the absence of Suresh Raina has disturbed the team's balance. The Chennai Super Kings have resorted to playing with just five bowlers in order to address their batting concerns.
"Because of that there have been lot of problems in the team composition. If Suresh Raina had been batting at No.3, they could have played an extra bowler. Currently, they have only 5 bowlers. Kedar Jadhav not being bowled by MS Dhoni is also a cause of concern."
Irfan Pathan added that instead of looking for a finisher, Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni should himself bat for a minimum of ten overs. He said that the team should also go into the match with an additional bowler.
"The teams which have been playing with an additional bowler in the IPL are looking stronger. More than a finisher, MS Dhoni is himself such a great finisher. He needs to ensure that he plays at least 10 overs and Chennai Super Kings must field an extra bowler. Then the rest of the things will be set."
Sanjay Bangar's take on the Chennai Super Kings' problems
Sanjay Bangar observed that Chennai Super Kings seem to be fielding too many batsmen in their playing XI.
"Chennai Super Kings are looking a little batting-heavy to me. It is like a traffic jam with the vehicle not moving properly."
He suggested that the Chennai-based franchise should open with Ruturaj Gaikwad instead of Murali Vijay.
"If they correct that traffic jam, if they open with Ruturaj and Shane Watson with Faf Du Plessis at No.3, Rayudu at No.4, MS Dhoni at No.5 and Kedar Jadhav at No.6, I feel all their batting related issues will get sorted out on their own."
The former Indian batting coach reasoned that Gaikwad would bring with him the exuberance of youth, which would do Chennai Super Kings a world of good.
"They need a combination of experience and youth. Ruturaj Gaikwad has done well in domestic cricket, he is a very talented player and he can play fearlessly, which is required at the top of the order."
Sanjay Bangar signed off by stating that all of the Chennai Super Kings' problems will be resolved if they maintain the tempo of their innings in the first ten overs and do not fall too far behind the asking rate.
"They need to sort out their batting in the first 10 overs and if they remain near the required run rate, then I feel their problems will be solved."
The Chennai Super Kings have struggled with their opening partnerships in IPL 2020 so far. While Shane Watson seems to be slowly regaining his touch, Murali Vijay has gotten bogged down at the other end, thereby increasing the pressure on the batsmen lower down the order.
MS Dhoni and the team management would be looking to address these concerns quickly, as the most consistent team in the history of the IPL is currently placed last on the points table.
Published 01 Oct 2020, 15:17 IST