Chennai Super Kings (CSK) all-rounder Suresh Raina stated that he would want MS Dhoni to bat at number three for CSK after Raina’s withdrawal from the IPL this season. Raina, who had travelled with the squad to UAE, had later decided to skip the IPL and returned home citing ‘personal reasons’.
However, later it was later found out to be a gruesome attack on his relatives which took away the life of his uncle and cousin. Also, Raina stated there is still a slight chance that he could get back with the squad to play in the IPL.
The CSK squad had to go through an extra quarantine after 13 squad members including two players tested positive for COVID-19 on last Saturday. The two players that tested positive were Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad. Despite that, CSK had their first training session on Friday.
Suresh Raina reckons MS Dhoni has the experience to deliver at No. 3:
Suresh Raina’s absence has caused many problems for CSK to find the perfect replacement for him at one down. Raina said that Dhoni should play at that particular spot because of his impressive performances in that position in the recent past. He also reminsced about his 148 against Pakistan playing at number three back in 2005.
“He has the experience to bat at that position. How can one forget Dhoni’s 148 against Pakistan in the second ODI at Visakhapatnam in April 2005? It’s a very crucial position and the No. 3 position will give Dhoni more flexibility,” Suresh Raina told Outlook.
MS Dhoni as No. 3 batsman:
Earlier, former Indian opener, Gautam Gambhir remarked that it is a good opportunity for MS Dhoni to come up the order and bat at No. 3 instead of number five position. Dhoni had last played international cricket in World Cup 2019 and has been on the sidelines there on. So, Gambhir feels if Dhoni plays at the number three it would give him a leeway to play and get his form back to resume his role as a finisher for the team.
“It will be a good opportunity for MS Dhoni to come and bat at No. 3. And he has been away from the game for the last one year, so he would end up getting a lot more balls to face and then he can actually play the anchor innings as well which he has been doing for India for the last couple of years,” Gambhir had told STAR Sports.
MS Dhoni initially used to bat at number three for Indian but then he transitioned his role to a finisher coming at number five. Moreover, he has a better record at number three. In 17 ODIs, he has scored 993 runs at an average of 82.75.
MS Dhoni will once again lead the CSK side in the IPL 2020. The 13th season of IPL will be played between September 19 and November 10. The matches will be played in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah respectively.