Aakash Chopra said that there was a massive change in MS Dhoni’s captaincy tactics in IPL 2021 as compared to last year’s edition of the league.
MS Dhoni seemed to be under pressure last season in IPL 2020, with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batsmen not firing as per expectations and unable to post substantial scores. The talismanic skipper was back to his calm and collected self in IPL 2021, as his team delivered the goods to be placed 2nd before IPL 2021 was postponed for rising Covid-19 cases.
Aakash Chopra Liked MS Dhoni’s Captaincy In IPL 2021 Which Was Changed Compared To IPL 2020 7 Indians Played Continuously Unlike Last Season
While reviewing CSK’s performance in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra picked MS Dhoni’s astute leadership as one of the reasons for the franchise’s turnaround.
“One thing I liked a lot was MS Dhoni’s captaincy. We could see a change in his captaincy from last year to this year. Last year we saw Dhoni, he had only five bowlers at the start and he made changes quickly,” said Chopra.
The cricketer-turned-commentator pointed out that MS Dhoni has played the same seven Indian players in all encounters of IPL 2021 thus far.
“Ruturaj didn’t score runs and he was dropped. Narayan Jagadeesan was dropped, players were getting dropped very quickly. But this time in seven encounters, seven Indians played continuously. He did not change a single Indian player,” observed Chopra.
CSK had one of the most consistent batting line-ups in the tournament. With six of their batsmen scoring half-centuries, they didn’t rely on anyone in particular. Before IPL 2021 was suspended last week, CSK was placed second with 10 points and a net run rate of +1.263 – the highest among all teams.
IPL 2020 was a season the Chennai Super Kings brigade would want to forget in a hurry. For the first time in the history of the tournament and in all the editions till then that CSK had played (11), the MS Dhoni-led side failed to make the cut for the play-offs.
Aakash Chopra: Overseas Changes Were Only Injury Related
Aakash Chopra highlighted even the overseas changes were injury-forced and to maintain the balance of the line-up.
“The overseas changes were only injury related. Moeen Ali got injured, so he got Dwayne Bravo to get an all-rounder. He also thought of playing a spinner as Moeen Ali’s spin will not be there,” added Chopra.
CSK has used just 13 players in the seven matches they have played in IPL 2021 to date. Imran Tahir was brought into the playing XI when Moeen Ali had to miss an encounter due to injury, while Dwayne Bravo and Lungi Ngidi played four and three matches respectively.
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that consistency in selection showed MS Dhoni’s belief in his players.
“The tactical changes were absolutely fine but MS Dhoni not making the changes shows the confidence he had. It is because of this CSK and MS Dhoni are special, they are not trigger-happy, they give time and keep faith in their selections. Because of this they don’t find but make players,” concluded Chopra.
Many players have credited MS Dhoni for bringing out the best in them. A case in point is Deepak Chahar, who has acknowledged the CSK skipper’s role in his development as a death bowler.
Faf du Plessis continued from where he left in the UAE in 2020 scoring 320 runs in 7 matches at a strike rate of 145.45 including 4 fifties. The platform laid by him and opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (196 runs at a strike rate of 128.94) eased the pressure on the middle order and went a long way enabling CSK to put up massive totals.
Moeen Ali was a revelation with the bat at number three as he scored a useful 206 runs at a strike rate of 157.25. Ambati Rayudu-136 runs, Ravindra Jadeja-131 runs, Suresh Raina-123 runs also were among runs. Among the CSK bowlers, Sam Curran(9), Deepak Chahar (8), Ravindra Jadeja (6), Moeen Ali (5), and Lungi Ngidi(5) were among the wickets. Deepak Chahar twice took 4 wicket hauls.