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IPL 2018: MS Dhoni increasing big hits will serve Chennai Super Kings better

Despite winning two out of two matches at the start of Indian Premier League 2018, there is scope for improvement at Chennai Super Kings in all departments.

cricket Updated: Apr 13, 2018 18:39 IST
IPL 2018,Indian Premier League,IPL
MS Dhoni has attempted big hits on 25% of the balls faced in this year’s Indian Premier League for Chennai Super Kings.(PTI)

What a happy IPL comeback it’s been for one of my favourite teams, Chennai Super Kings. They have won two out of two so far.

But knowing Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni to be very rational people, I think they would be the first ones to admit that their team has been extremely lucky with both those wins.

It was Dwayne Bravo’s fantastic performance with both bat and ball that won them the game they were set to lose by a big margin against Mumbai Indians in the opener.

Then, set to get 203 to win in a run-chase against Kolkata Knight Riders, CSK were again hopelessly out of it before Sam Billings came in and played a magical innings to give them another unexpected win.

It’s nice to have two wins on the trot. It makes you relaxed but CSK must use this time to iron out flaws that were evident in the two matches.

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Their two senior spinners, Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja, bowling just seven overs in two games instead of 16 should be a matter of concern.

What’s more, it was more a pre-emptive measure that these two spinners didn’t bowl more than they did. Well, you have to admire Dhoni’s pragmatism here but it also shows gross under-utilisation of two players in the side in normal course.

I did an interesting exercise the other night when CSK were chasing KKR’s big score. I took pen and paper to note an aspect of Dhoni’s batting --- how many attempts was he making during the course of his innings to play big shots and how many runs was he getting with those attempts.

And here’s what I found - Dhoni faced 28 balls, made seven attempts to play the big shot and got 14 runs off those, and yes, he got out while making that 7th attempt.

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In his prime, I think he would have still made the same amount of attempts (i.e. 25% of the balls faced) to play the big shots but he would have got more runs.

If I was his batting coach, my suggestion to him at this stage of his career would be to either increase the number of big hits or start nailing the big hits more often.

I think increasing the number of big hits might serve Dhoni and CSK better.

Courtesy: TCM

First Published: Apr 13, 2018 08:37 IST