Despite late fireworks coming from skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s bat, Chennai Super Kings fell 16 runs short of mammoth 217 target put up by Rajasthan Royals in Sharjah on Tuesday.
Dhoni ended with 29 off 17 but was on 9 off 12 before the final over started, with CSK needing 38. He then slammed Tom Curran for three sixes in the final over.
While fans were content with Dhoni showing the intent of vintage MS, the CSK leader pushing him down the batting order didn’t sit well with Former cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir who slammed the veteran cricketer for batting at No. 7.
“Makes no sense to me. In fact, you should be leading from the front,” Gambhir was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. “Yes, you can talk about MS Dhoni’s last over when he hit three sixes, but it was of no use, to be honest. It was just all personal runs,” he further added.
Dhoni loyalists were in instant disagreement with Gambhir’s sharp remarks who criticized the former cricketer for being “negative” instead of supporting his former teammate and IPL opponent.
Gautam Gambhir criticizing Indian Cricket Board and MS Dhoni whenever he gets a chance be like pic.twitter.com/p4aFJYIELt
— ꜱᴀɢᴀʀ ||राणा||🖤 (@Sarcastic_Sagar) September 23, 2020
During Playing Days. After Retirement. pic.twitter.com/3RWwfiVR27
— Sameer Allana (@HitmanCricket) September 23, 2020
Gautam Gambhir is the Kangana Ranaut of cricket
— Panistha Bhatt (@PanisthaB) September 23, 2020
— saurabh patidar (@crazy_mufc) September 23, 2020
Dhoni after every match when Gautam gambhir starts trolling….. pic.twitter.com/gyAhnWTTlX
— Sofiya ansari✨ (@Sofiyaa_an) September 23, 2020
One bad match for CSK and Dhoni and @GautamGambhir comes out lashing the MSD. As if he was always successful as a captain and player. It's just the beginning of tournament, take a seat, enjoy and boost the morales of youngsters and not always come out to satisfy personal grudges https://t.co/oKEs7hJEmI
— Utkarsh 🇮🇳 (@chilllkaro) September 23, 2020
— Rajith Pavan (@rajith_rajiii) September 23, 2020
— AYAAN¹⁰💫|| CSK💛 (@iBeingAyaan_) September 23, 2020
Why gambhir is like Anti-Dhoni always?? #Pathetic
— abhishek (@abhikarjatkar) September 23, 2020
However, a section of social media backed Gambhir for being vocal in his criticism about Dhoni.
Gambhir is absolutely right. We need commentators like him in the IPL who can criticize big name Indian players too rather than the current ones who are harsh on foreign players but keep quiet when it comes to the likes of Dhoni etc. Dhoni's innings yesterday was horrendous.
— Karan Mittal (@Kmittal255) September 23, 2020
Correct to bola…..gambir ka bura hi dikhta h dhobi fans ko…..tariff b krta h jb krni chahiye tb….chatata nhi h bakiyo ki tarah…
— Suraj Birajdar (@SurajHRx) September 23, 2020
And Gambhir is right, if any other captain would have done this, he would received a lot of flak. But last over mein three sixes kya mare, toh sab galti maaf ho gayi
— KESHAV (@keshavk789) September 23, 2020
Why did Dhoni come so late to bat?
Asked why he came so low in the order, the CSK captain said, “I haven’t batted for a long time. 14-day quarantine doesn’t help.” Dhoni’s reference was to CSK’s extra one-week quarantine after 13 people in their contingent tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in missing out on important training sessions.
Coming back to last night’s encounter, Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday piled up 216/7 on the scoreboard. Some ruthless smacking by Sanju Samson 74 (32) and a rock-solid show put up skipper Steve Smith 69 (47) ensured it wasn’t going to be an easy run chase for CSK.
CSK had a decent start with the openers Shane Watson (33) and Murali Vijay (21) bringing up 50 for no loss in the first 6 overs. But Rahul Tewatia (3/37) with his bowling spell slowed down CSK’s run chase. Faf du Plessis tried to bring momentum back, smashing 7 sixes in his entertaining innings of 72 (37) but it was too late as the Men in Yellow could only touch the 200 mark in their designated 20 overs.