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'Dhoni shouldn’t play if he wants to bat at No.9...': Legends fume at former CSK captain for 'not taking responsibility'

May 06, 2024 10:01 AM IST

On Sunday, in the match against PBKS, MS Dhoni, for the first time ever in his T20 career, walked out at No. 9 for CSK.

Chennai Super Kings managed to defend 168 at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala after their bowlers, especially Ravindra Jadeja and Tushar Deshpande, put on a stellar show to restrict home team Punjab Kings to just 139 for nine. The 28-run win did not just see them make it back to the top four in the points table, but also revived their chances to make the IPL 2024 playoffs. Despite the victory, a certain MS Dhoni act did not go down well with cricket experts as they lashed out at the former CSK captain for "not taking responsibility."

Chennai Super Kings' MS Dhoni gets bowled during the match against Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League 2024, at HCPA Stadium in Dharamsala (ANI )

The question that has troubled experts throughout the course of the 2024 IPL season has been Dhoni's batting position. With him being in explosive form, as evidenced by his strike rate of 224.49 and boundary rate of just three balls, Dhoni has been unwilling to bat up the order, contrary to what has been advised by most veteran cricketers who have been working as a commentator during the tournament.

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On Sunday, in the match against PBKS, Dhoni, for the first time ever in his career, walked out at No. 9 for CSK. Both Mitchell Santner and Shardul Thakur batted ahead of the former India captain and it left Irfan Pathan furious. The former India all-rounder, speaking on Star Sports, lashed out at the 42-year-old saying that the strategy will not work for CSK in the long term, especially if they make the playoffs.

“MS Dhoni batting at No.9 doesn’t work for CSK, it’s doesn’t help the team’s cause. I know that he is 42, but he is in solid form. He should be taking the responsibility of batting up the order. He should bat for at least 4 to 5 overs. He is batting for the last over or last 2 overs and that doesn’t serve the purpose for CSK for a long term,” he said.

“It might happen that we will see CSK qualify for the playoffs from here on and they need to win 90 percent of their games. As a proper senior guy, who’s in form, he needs to bat up the order. He can’t be doing the same thing that he has done on quite a few occasions,” Pathan added.

The former T20 World Cup winner urged someone from the CSK management to have a word with Dhoni on his batting position and convince him to bat at least four overs for the team

“Yes, he made an impact against Mumbai, but here, when the team needed him, you can’t send Shardul Thakur ahead of yourself. You can’t see Dhoni batting at No.9. Sameer Rizvi was also padded up in the 15th over. They need to work out something; someone has to tell Dhoni, ‘Come on mate, bat for 4 overs’,” Pathan said.

Dhoni walked out in the 19th over and was dismissed for a rare golden duck, fifth in his IPL career, after being left clueless by a slower yorker from Harshal Patel.

'It is better to include a fast bowler'

Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh too fumed at Dhoni for letting the team down with his action and added that he should rather be dropped from the playing XI if he wants to continue batting lower down the order.

“MS Dhoni shouldn’t play if he wants to bat at the number 9 slot. It is better to include a fast bowler than him in the playing XI. He is the decision-maker and has let down his team by not coming out to bat. Shardul Thakur came ahead of him. Thakur can never hit shots like Dhoni and I don’t understand why Dhoni made this mistake. Nothing happens without his permission and I am not ready to accept that this decision to demote him was taken by someone else."

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