Chennai Super Kings fans may have celebrated enthusiastically the return of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his hat-trick of sixes, but former India opener Gautam Gambhir is not too happy about the captain’s last-minute rush for runs. The Chennai team lost by 16 runs, having needed 38 in the last over.
Gambhir criticised Dhoni for coming in at number seven in the batting order, and said that the skipper should have led from the front when CSK was chasing a target of 217 against Rajasthan Royals in Tuesday’s Indian Premier League match.
“I was a bit surprised, to be honest. M.S. Dhoni batting at No. 7? And sending Gaikwad before him, Sam Curran before him. Makes no sense to me. In fact, you should be leading from the front. And this is not what you call leading from the front. Batting at number seven when you're chasing what 217? The game was over. Faf was probably the lone warrior,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Gambhir as saying.
Dhoni came out to bat in the 14th over of the CSK innings, but waited till the last over to belt out three consecutive sixes off Tom Curran. Many questioned what had stopped Dhoni from batting in the same manner earlier in the innings.
Gambhir said the mad rush for runs in the last over was of no use.
“There is nothing wrong if you end up getting out early, at least start leading from the front, trying to inspire the team as well. What you did in the last over, probably if you’d done that coming in at No. 4 or 5, alongside Faf, you could have made a game out of it. But probably there was no such intent to make a game out of it,” the cricketer-turned-politician said.
“You can talk about M.S. Dhoni’s last over when he hit three sixes, but it was of no use, to be honest. It was just all personal runs. See, if someone else would have done this, some other captain had batted number seven, he would have got a lot of flak. It is M.S. Dhoni… Probably why people don’t talk about it.
“When you don’t have Suresh Raina, you’re making people believe that Sam Curran is better than you. You’re making people believe that Ruturaj Gaikwad, Curran, Kedar Jadhav, Faf du Plessis, Vijay, all these guys are better than you,” Gambhir added.