Lara's two-fisted verdict on why MS Dhoni shouldn't be promoted in CSK lineup: 'At 42, he expects young guys to step up' | Crickit
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Lara's two-fisted verdict on why MS Dhoni shouldn't be promoted in CSK lineup: 'At 42, he expects young guys to step up'

Apr 20, 2024 04:23 PM IST

MS Dhoni produced yet another bright cameo during the match against LSG, remaining unbeaten on 28 off 9 deliveries

Fans are eagerly advocating for MS Dhoni to move up in the batting order following the CSK great's power-hitting knocks in IPL 2024 so far. Dhoni injected vital momentum with a blistering unbeaten nine-ball 28 against Lucknow Super Giants, adding to the list of entertaining cameos he has delivered this IPL season. However, despite his efforts, CSK succumbed to an eight-wicket defeat after posting 176/6.

MS Dhoni plays a shot during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match between Chennai Super Kings and Lucknow Super Giants at Ekana Cricket Stadium(PTI)
MS Dhoni plays a shot during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match between Chennai Super Kings and Lucknow Super Giants at Ekana Cricket Stadium(PTI)

There might be strong sentiments over promoting Dhoni, but former West Indian captain and batting great Brian Lara acknowledges that the 42-year-old, plagued by chronic knee issues limiting his ability to bat for extended periods, is unlikely to seek a promotion in the lineup. The seasoned cricketer is at a stage where he wishes to provide opportunities to young players to showcase their talents, according to Lara.

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“It's just brilliant. The question has to be asked would you like to bat higher? Because I can see he's making valuable contributions. But there are a couple of losing causes as well. So, I think that should be a consideration. At 42, he's most likely thinking from the teams point of view, that the young guys got to do the job,” Lara told Star Sports.

Lara spoke on the tactical aspects of Dhoni's role, particularly emphasising the need for a more aggressive approach from other CSK batters throughout the innings. He also highlighted Dhoni's capability to accelerate the run rate in the latter stages, reminiscing about a match against Mumbai Indians where Dhoni propelled CSK above 200 with his batting prowess.

“I think the middle of the innings told a little bit too much about CSK batting. And it created the fact that even though he exploded at the end and he did that Dhoni thing at the end, and it still was not enough. So, I think they will have to go back to the drawing room and realize that they need to be a little bit more aggressive throughout the innings,” said Lara.

“Because at the back end, you've got the man to come. And if he gets two-three overs, as he did against Mumbai Indians. And propelled them above 200. They need to think about that all the time.”

Icon of the game

Reflecting on Dhoni's impact at the crease, Lara marvels at the electrifying atmosphere the CSK great's appearances create across venues. "That's the terrific part of the game... when you have a guy aged 42, a legend, an icon in the game, someone who has played in the IPL for so many years and you don't know when he's going to say, hey, that's it," Lara remarked.

"He comes out to bat and I think it's just a moment to savour and everyone is just going to feel amazing about this. It's going to be a lot of emotions, but then he walks out and does the business," he added.

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