Former cricketers have criticised MS Dhoni for the batting order he chose during Friday’s five-wicket loss to Gujrat Titans in Ahmedabad in the opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Chennai Super Kings were going strong at 121/3 and Ruturaj Gaikwad was still striking the ball beautifully when Ambati Rayudu was dismissed in the 13th over. While nearly everybody expected the CSK captain, or at least Ravindra Jadeja, to walk out to the middle, out came the inexperienced Shivam Dube.
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The move did not work out and though Dube was able to clobber a six off Mohammed Shami, he scored 19 runs off 18 balls, which was clearly slow by T20 standards. Gaikwad was then out in the 18th over after a 50-ball 92 and Jadeja did not last long. Dhoni came in after the fall of Jadeja’s wicket and did hit a six, but it was too late by that time. Dhoni only got seven balls to face.
“CSK got their middle-order wrong, it cost them. Dhoni should have come in (in place of Dube)," former England spinner Graeme Swann said on Jio Cinema. The move to send Dube ahead of both Jadeja and Dhoni was criticised by the likes of Chris Gayle, Eoin Morgan and AB de Villiers as well.
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CSK, who looked well on course for 200 in their 20 overs, especially Gaikwad was batting ended up with 178/7, which was overhauled by Gujarat Titans in the end without much fuss. Shubman Gill, enjoying the form of his life, did the star turn for the home team with 63 off 36 balls.
“We all knew there would be dew. We could have done a bit more with the batsman ship. Ruturaj (Gaikwad) was brilliant, he times the ball well and he’s a pleasure to watch. The way he picks his options is pleasing to watch. I think it’s important for youngsters to step in.
“I think Raj (Hangargekar) has pace and he will get better with time. Think the bowlers will get better, a no-ball is something that’s in your control, so you need to work on that. I felt two left-armers would be a better option so I went ahead with them. Shivam was an option, but I felt comfortable with the bowlers overall," Dhoni said after the match.
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