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IPL poll: Should Dhoni bat up the order?

By Rediff Cricket
September 27, 2020 09:04 IST
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Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

IMAGE: Chennai Super Kings Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Photograph: BCCI

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has lost his zing, or so it seems.

The Chennai Super Kings captain is at the centre of criticism, and rightly so, for his batting positions in the last two Indian Premier League games.

In both matches he came down the order while his team were chasing big scores.

First, in the game against Rajasthan Royals, CSK had to endure severe criticism for the approach they took while chasing 217.

Dhoni came out to bat at number seven when the team was a spot of bother. What was further frustrating was to see the CSK captain struggle to get the big hits going.

He took time to settle down before unleashing his powerful shots. By the time he found his range, he did not have much balls at his disposal to knock off the required runs.

Chennai did challenge at one stage, with Faf du Plessis (72 off 37 balls) launching into Jaydev Unadkat (0/44 in 4 overs)'s final over, hitting him for three sixes and seven in all.

However, Archer bowled a lethal short ball that grew big on Du Plessis to close in the match before Dhoni's (29 off 17 balls) three sixes in the final over were in a lost cause.

On Friday, against the Delhi Capitals, Dhoni once again batted down the order, this time at number six, and he walked out to the ground with CSK at 98/4 in the 16th over.

With bigger boundaries in Dubai, Dhoni found it hard to get the big shots in. Although he did go after spinner Avesh Khan who was wayward, the pressure was mounting and he was eventually caught behind for 15 off 12.

And Chennai eventually lost by 44 runs.

Both games saw CSK openers Shane Watson and Murali Vijay failing to fire, while the latter batsmen didn't fight back well.

Here's where the Dhoni's batting position comes into question.

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