Dhoni faces heat for go-slow in Chennai's chase

Tanya Simon
September 24, 2020

Also, (we) wanted to try different things, give opportunities to Sam (Curran) and (Ravindra) Jadeja.

Dhoni had come in to bat at number seven, promoting the likes of Sam Curran, Jadhav and Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of himself but the ploy backfired badly leaving Faf du Plessis with too much work in too little time.

Chasing 217 for victory required an enormous effort and questions were asked when the likes of Sam Curran came in ahead of Dhoni, who entered the fray in the 14th over, with CSK needing 103 off 38 balls. And this is not what you call leading from the front. Batting at No. 7 when you're chasing what... Gambhir feels his decision to bat at No.7 makes no sense as he should be leading the team from the front.

Even skipper MS Dhoni lamented that a rusty start in the powerplay derailed CSK's run-chase. Faf was probably the lone warrior.

"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'.

Once Samson holed out to deep cover in the 12th over off South African pacer Lungi Ngidi, Royals lost six wickets for 46 runs but Archer's fireworks at the end off Ngidi spectacularly lifted them past the 200-run mark.

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Chennai coach Stephen Fleming told reporters, "MS is a specialist at the end of the innings, always has been". You've got to be in the present, try and win each game possible. "This is not how you ask someone like MS to lead the side", he added.

In reply, the in-form du Plessis top-scored with 72 off 37 deliveries with a four and seven sixes and Australian Shane Watson chipped in with 33 from 21 but leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia snatched three for 37 to help stall the run chase.

Speaking after the opening match heroics against MI, Rayudu had said: "We were training in lockdown, we were really eager and as we get older, we need to train so we were training".

Steve (Smith) and (Sanju) Samson batted very well.

His rival captain Steve Smith praised Jofra Archer's big hits in the last over that eventually changed the game. CSK will next take on Delhi Capitals on September 25 while Rajasthan will face Kings XI Punjab on September 27.

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