'Dhoni was just sitting there:' Ex-Australia player lashes out at MS Dhoni's tactics
MS Dhoni's tactics and the delay in his departure to such extent that the explosive batter couldn't ever walk in during Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) run-chase on Thursday (April 27) have fallen under a great deal of scrutiny as the four-time champions suffered a heavy defeat in IPL 2023 against the Rajasthan Royals (RR).
Chasing an intimidating target of 203, CSK fell short by a big margin of 32 runs. While the legendary skipper himself felt the difference was made in the first half where CSK conceded an above-par score in Jaipur, his own decision not to come up the order when the asking rate was climbing up left quite a few flabbergasted.
Knocks from opener Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shivam Dube may have led Chennai's fightback, but the impetus and six-hitting that the side required at the end went missing as MS Dhoni, who kept promoting players above him, never came out to bat. It was a puzzling decision for many, one that perhaps signalled the man's own admission around his declining powerhiting abilities.
Ex Australian speedster Shaun Tait, however, was having none of it. Tait believes Dhoni got his tactics wrong during the run-chase and should've gone for the kill by coming up the order and blazing it away like he can. The fast-bowler turned commentator felt dumbfounded by the call to promote Moeen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja above with balls running out and not even entering the contest.
Tait calls out MS Dhoni's decision to not bat in CSK run-chase
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo after the Royals' gave CSK a hammering in their den at the Sawai Man Singh, Tait said the visitors could've made a better feast of the run-chase at hands despite staring at a target above 200 if their skipper and renowned hitter MS Dhoni had faced balls in the middle.
Tait said he hoped while watching that one of Jadeja or Moeen could get, even though the two left-handers operated at decent clicks, so that Dhoni can come out and unleash a few sixes which might help improve CSK's standing in the contest.
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"Watching MS (Dhoni) sit on the boundaries when they need sixes... I was like, 'can someone get out?'" he said at a post-match show for ESPNcricinfo, critical of Dhoni's curious decision to position himself at No.8 in a big run-chase.
Fellow commentator and expert Deep Das Gupta nodded in approval with Tait's assessment and said the fear-factor that Dhoni brings to the table for opposition attacks can't be replicated by anyone else.
"There's this fear factor when MS is batting. No matter whether he's (on) 40 or 50, no matter how good a bowler you are, you'd still be thinking, 'it's MS who's batting there'," said the former India cricketer.