MS Dhoni IPL 2024.
MS Dhoni IPL 2024. Image credit: X

Even though the defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) lost their sixth fixture of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, the fans got their money back, watching their ‘Thala’ MS Dhoni smashing a few big shots out of the ground.

The former CSK captain remained unbeaten on 26 runs in 11 balls at a strike rate of 236.36, with the help of one boundary and three sixes against the Gujarat Titans.

The hosts, at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium, put on 231/3 in their first innings, thanks to the twin centurion- Shubman Gill and Sai Sudharsan.

In reply, the Super Kings found themselves in a spot of bother with the scoreboard reading 10 for 3 in the third over. However, the 109-run fourth wicket stand between Daryl Mitchell (63) and Moeen Ali (56) gave them little hope but the final line was far from vision, as they lost the game by 35 runs.

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‘Who cares if they win or lose?’ – Virender Sehwag on MS Dhoni’s batting entertainment

Towards the end, MS Dhoni came into the middle at number eight, and took his time, before entertaining the crowd his a few towering sixes in the final over.

Dhoni pulled Mohit Sharma’s back-of-the-hand slower ball over mid-wicket for a six, before using his feet and smashing Rashid Khan for two back-to-back sixes into the square leg region. Former India opener, Virender Sehwag felt that the debate around the batting position of MS Dhoni should end.

“We should end the debate around MS Dhoni’s batting position. He knows what he wants to do. It’s his wish. But if you want to win the match, the form he is in, and the strike rate that he’s batting at, (then) the other batters need to play at a similar level,” Sehwag opened up in a discussion.

“It felt today that Mitchell and Ali couldn’t match Sudharsan and Gill. Someone has to score a 100. Or Jadeja and Dube had to score a 20-ball fifty to get close to the target,” he asserted.

Chennai Super Kings have been using the veteran lower in the batting order. Even though, Sehwag believed that the Chennai management knows how to use the player at its best.

“I don’t want to get into the debate. Wherever he bat(s), it’s fine. He played fine, and entertained the public, who cares if they win or lose? He entertained public, that’s it,” the former India opener remarked.

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‘It’s a delicate balance’- Stephen Fleming on MS Dhoni’s injury concern

On the eve of the CSK vs GT clash, the head coach of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Stephen Fleming admitted that they are trying their best to use the 42-year-old to his full potential.

‘Like just hitting sixes and fours, which he has done pretty well. And keep as well as some of the best in the competition if not the best in the competition,” Fleming was quoted by ESPNcricinfo as saying.

“So don’t underestimate his influence on the team just because he comes in at No. 9. There’s a timing aspect, but we’re very wary of what he can give us. And we’ll max that out,” Fleming further expressed.

The former Chennai Super Kings batter also pointed out that they don’t want to put much pressure on MS Dhoni, who has been struggling little bit with the injury in the season.

‘To put the nation at ease- he’s okay,” the former Kiwi leader concluded.

Chennai Super Kings will take on Rajasthan Royals in their next game on May 12, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.