Former England captain Michael Vaughan reckons the move to appoint MS Dhoni as a mentor for the T20 World Cup is among the greatest decisions made in Indian cricket.
Dhoni was in his element as captain as the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by six wickets in Match 35 of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) in Sharjah on Friday.
Vaughan hailed Dhoni’s leadership moves during CSK’s triumph over RCB. He was particularly impressed with the way Dhoni used Ambati Rayudu to tackle the Glenn Maxwell threat.
“You look at Rayudu, why did they put him in the position that he got put in? Because the off-spinner (Maxwell) was on. And what did he do first ball to the off-spinner? He danced down the track and whacked him for four. It was smart cricket. You have got combinations in the Chennai Super Kings’ batting line-up that can change depending on the pitch, depending on who is bowling,” Vaughan said in a discussion on Cricbuzz.
According to the Ashes-winning England skipper, Dhoni and Co. are always trying to one-up the opposition. He explained:
“MS Dhoni and his team would have realized that if Maxwell got a wicket, he would probably bowl again and more than the two overs that he eventually did. That’s why they sent in a right-hander to make sure that it doesn’t get to that stage. That’s being flexible and not having an ego about where you bat. CSK are always thinking about what the opposition are going to do.”
Carrying on in his praise of Dhoni, Vaughan backed the BCCI’s decision to appoint Dhoni as the mentor of India’s T20 World Cup squad.
“I know there was a bit of commotion when Dhoni was put in the mentoring role for the T20 World Cup. It is the greatest decision the Indian T20 team has made. You need that kind of brain in and around that dugout and training zones, getting into these players’ minds over how to play T20 cricket. He just does it without thinking. He is such a natural at what he delivers and he seems to get it right 90-95 percent of the time. He is a master,” the 46-year-old opined.
Dhoni (11 not out) was at the non-striker’s end when Suresh Raina (17 not out) hitting the winning runs against RCB.
“All of them are good enough to play in any position” - Dhoni
Speaking after the match, Dhoni also shed light on the decision to send Rayudu ahead of Suresh Raina in the batting order. According to the CSK skipper, the left-right combination (Moeen Ali was batting at the other end) worked well for the team under the circumstances.
"Looking at the wicket, I felt left-right combo was important. We bat deep, we have a lot of left-handers, so in the back of the head it's there. And I feel all of them are good enough to play in any position. That's why we went with the left-right combination," Dhoni explained.
Following Friday’s win, CSK moved to the top of the IPL 2021 points table. They will next take on the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
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