Speaking to reporters after the high-voltage clash, Chennai head coach Stephen Fleming said the only reason behind Dhoni walking out to the middle was that he wanted clarity over the whole incident.
"Firstly, a 100 wins is great, secondly Dhoni as captain is very successful, Dhoni as a player is outstanding. They are both very closely related," said Fleming. "My understanding in discussing with the captain was that we saw a no-ball called and there was confusion. Our understanding was that the umpire at the bowler's end called a no-ball and then there was confusion around whether there was no-ball or not.
"MS was after some clarity and it didn't seem to be coming, so he took the opportunity to go out and discuss with the umpires. That's how I saw it and that's how I discussed with him afterwards."
The incident occurred in the last over of Chennai's run-chase. With the visitors needing eight to win off three balls, Mitchell Santner flicked a waist-high full toss from Ben Stokes to the on-side. The umpire at the bowler's end initially deemed the delivery a no-ball only to later revoke the call. This is when Dhoni, sitting in the team's dugout lost his cool. He waved his arms on the boundary line and soon after in an unprecedented move, walked onto the playing field and was seen to be having an animated decision with the two umpires.
The Chennai captain was later docked 50% of his match fees for this move. When asked if Dhoni's decision to walk onto the field was correct, Fleming said that he probably wasn't the right person to answer but admitted that Dhoni will be questioned about this a lot in future.
"I can't say whether it was right or not. What wasn't right was the confusion around the decision. It is above my pay grade early to go further than that," Fleming remarked.
"The rights and wrongs will be discussed by everybody, including Mahi I am sure. I think it will be a discussion for the umpires afterwards. I am a watcher as you guys are for now. He was certainly fired up the way the decision was handled and why it was overturned. It was a lack of clarity, obviously from him and he wanted to get it clarified at a key moment.
"It is unusual, he is generally pretty calculative, so it is something that he will be questioned about I am sure for a long time."
Jos Buttler, the Rajasthan Royals opener, on the other hand, felt that Dhoni stepping onto the field probably wasn't correct.
"I am not sure if that was the right thing to do. Obviously, tensions are running high in the IPL and every run counts, but whether stepping onto the pitch is quite right - I'd say probably not," Buttler quipped.
"It is obviously a bit controversial. I was at the boundary so wasn't really quite sure what was happening."
First Published: April 12, 2019, 9:16 AM IST