Former India opener Gautam Gambhir slammed MS Dhoni for coming into bat at No. 7 against the Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday when Chennai Super Kings' mammoth 217-run chase was virtually over. CSK eventually fell short by 16 runs in Match 4 of IPL 2020 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
MS Dhoni reasoned after the match that he wanted to ease into the tournament after last having played professional cricket in the World Cup semi-final loss against New Zealand in 2019.
Sam Curran, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Kedar Jadhav all came in to bat ahead of MS Dhoni on Tuesday. On ESPNcricinfo’s T20 Time Out, Gambhir accused Dhoni of not leading from the front and said that his decisions surprised him.
"I was a bit surprised to be honest...MS Dhoni batting at No. 7? And sending [Ruturaj] Gaikwad before him, Sam Curran before him. Makes no sense to me. In fact you should be leading from the front. And this is not what you call leading from the front. Batting at No. 7 when you're chasing what... 213 ? The game was over. Faf was probably the lone warrior,” said Gambhir, who stitched a 109-run stand with MSD in the 2011 World Cup final.
MS Dhoni walked into bat in the 14th over with CSK needing 103 off 38 deliveries and Faf du Plessis (17 off 18 balls) struggling at the other end.
CSK lacked intent from the outset: Gambhir
Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles, stated that CSK lacked intent from the outset and MS Dhoni batting lower down the order worsened things.
“You've got to be in the present, try and win each game possible. I thought there was no intent to win the game and they were never there in the chase. You can talk about Faf's innings, but Faf initially was struggling big time. So I thought it was absolute miscalculation, probably not the right captaincy as well. This is not how you ask someone like MS to lead the side," said Gambhir.
MS Dhoni, however, managed to smash Tom Curran for three consecutive sixes in the last over to finish on a 17-ball 29, but the game was already done at that point.
"Yes, you can talk about MS Dhoni's last over [when he hit three sixes], but it was of no use to be honest. It was just all personal runs," Gambhir added.
The loss pushed CSK down to fourth place. The franchise play third-placed Delhi Capitals next on Friday in Dubai.Published 23 Sep 2020, 14:35 IST