Chennai Super Kings' batting strategies raised a few questions during the match against Rajasthan Royals in the fourth match of the Indian Premier League. Chasing the target of 217, CSK sent Sam Curran at number four in the order, and captain MS Dhoni arrived at number seven.
When Dhoni arrived, CSK needed 103 runs to win from 38 deliveries, meaning that the batsman had no time to settle on the crease. However, Dhoni only went for the hits in the final over of the innings when the match was already lost, earlier relying on Faf du Plessis to take on the bowlers.
Former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir, who has played for MS Dhoni for a large part of his career, lashed out at the CSK skipper for coming significantly late in the innings.
"MS Dhoni batting at No. 7? And sending Gaikwad before him, Sam Curran before him. Makes no sense to me," Gambhir said, as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
"In fact, you should be leading from the front. And this is not what you call leading from the front. Batting at number seven when you're chasing what 217? The game was over. Faf was probably the lone warrior."
Talking about Dhoni's three successive sixes in the final over of the match, Gambhir said that it was of "no use," further adding that any other captain would've been criticised for coming at number seven in such a chase.
"Yes, you can talk about MS Dhoni's last over when he hit three sixes, but it was of no use, to be honest. It was just all personal runs. See, if someone else would have done this, some other captain had batted number seven, he would have got a lot of flak," said Gambhir.
"It is MS Dhoni probably why people don't talk about it. When you don't have Suresh Raina, you're making people believe that Sam Curran is better than you. You're making people believe that Ruturaj Gaikwad, Curran, Kedar Jadhav, Faf du Plessis, M Vijay, all these guys, are better than you."