Last year, Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket after more than a year away from the arena. Since then, his bat hasn’t done much talking. Since IPL 2020, MS Dhoni has averaged 21.5 with the bat, striking at a strike rate of 117. He has batted much lower in the order but with little success.
Gautam Gambhir, one of the protagonists of India’s 2011 World Cup final triumph alongside MS Dhoni, told Star Sports in this regard:
“MS Dhoni was a player who would’ve actually batted at number 4 or 5, but we’ve seen in the first leg that he normally bats at number 6 or 7. There are times when he’s actually pushed Sam Curran before him as well."
The reason behind this is that he’s probably trying to be a mentor and a wicketkeeper who can lead the side and keep wickets. If the situation comes to a point where he probably has to play 8 or 10 balls, he can just go out there and whack them."
Emphasising the importance of facing top-quality bowling in international cricket, the two-time IPL-winning captain added:
“It’s going to be difficult for him because once you are not playing international cricket, IPL is a very difficult tournament; it’s not like CPL and other leagues. IPL is where you face top-quality bowlers. For me. I think the biggest challenge for CSK will be that the top-order needs to fire because that’s not the case (with MS Dhoni) anymore.”
CSK have enough firepower in their batting unit. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis have got the team off to good starts, Mooen Ali and Suresh Raina take care of the middle order, whereas Ravindra Jadeja has successfully slipped into the finisher’s role that was once MS Dhoni’s.
Check out the latest IPL 2021 stats here.
MS Dhoni’s CSK are second in the IPL 2021 points table
Despite MS Dhoni’s lack of success with the bat, he has led his side brilliantly in IPL 2021. With five wins from seven matches, CSK are in second spot in the points table.
In the IPL 2021 points table, CSK has finished seventh. That meant for the first time in IPL history, the three-time champions didn’t qualify for the IPL playoffs. Nevertheless, CSK had a dramatic turnaround during the first phase of the 2021 edition of the tournament.
As per the IPL 2021 schedule, MS Dhoni’s men will resume their campaign against arch-rivals Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.