Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has come in defense of MS Dhoni who has been heavily criticized by some notable names for coming at number 7 against Rajasthan Royals. CSK were chasing a big score of 217 in their second game of IPL 2020, playing against RR and Dhoni decided on coming late down the order and Chennai fell short of 16 runs in the chase.
Chennai’s defeat and Dhoni coming down the order caused a spur as former cricketers led the digs on the former India skipper. His former teammate Gautam Gambhir led the charge of criticism against him by saying that he didn’t lead the side in their chase by coming up the order.
Aakash Chopra comes to the defense of MS Dhoni on his call of batting down the order
Chopra doesn’t agree with MS Dhoni’s critique and says Dhoni made his legacy as captain by always looking at the bigger picture. He stated Dhoni would only go in ahead when things go awry for the team. His decision of sending Sam Curran ahead of him against MI came as a masterstroke said Chopra.
“Chennai went down without a proper fight, some would argue. Gautam Gambhir, one who isn’t known to mince words on all matters Dhoni, said that you can’t lead from the front when you keep demoting yourself when chasing a huge total. While you can’t argue with that assessment, the fact is that Dhoni’s leadership style isn’t the same as that of many captains,” Chopra wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
“In fact, his idea of leadership isn’t about leading from the front all. He built his legacy as a captain, at least in franchise cricket, by pushing others ahead of him. And even in his heyday, he would go in only when things started to go pear-shaped. And he was able to rescue quite a few such missions. Of course, it didn’t happen against Rajasthan, but in the game before, against Mumbai, Dhoni promoted Curran and it turned out to be a master stroke in the end.
Dhoni’s biggest strength as captain of CSK has been his ability to focus on the big picture of the entire campaign, as opposed to getting caught up in the details of one league game. That is why in the first game of the season, he picks an XI that in his head is near-perfect, and sticks to the same personnel for as long as possible. Almost every other captain in the IPL would have benched Shane Watson halfway through the last IPL but Dhoni persisted, and it paid dividends,” Aakash Chopra added.
MS Dhoni criticized by notable former cricketers and teammates for coming at number 7 for CSK against RR
CSK had won the toss and chosen to field, as RR ran rampage at the Sharjah International stadium scoring 216 runs. The upper batting order of CSK didn’t do much except Faf du Plessis who came at the number 3 spot scored 72 runs off 37 balls. His team India teammates Gautam Gambhir, Virendra Sehwag and former England batsman Kevin Pietersen were all in dismal of his decision to come at number 7.
“This is not what you call leading from the front. Batting at No. 7 when you’re chasing 217. The game was over. Faf was probably the lone warrior,” Gambhir had said.
MSD came in at the number seven spot and had a slow start to the game but went on to hit three consecutive sixes in the last over of the match, scoring 29 runs off 17 balls. CSK will play their next game against DC today at the Dubai International stadium.