Making his return to competitive cricket after over five months, Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni had a bland outing on Saturday as he fell to a second-ball duck off the bowling of Delhi Capitals' pacer Avesh Khan.
The ex-India pacer was bowled off an inside edge off the bowling of Avesh, as he tried to pull a delivery to the mid-wicket boundary. To rub salt into the wound, the Chennai outfit suffered a seven-wicket defeat and started their IPL 2021 campaign on a disappointing note.
Talking about Dhoni's lacklustre return to the sport, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar said that the 39-year-old is no longer the same batsman he was 5-10 years ago. Dhoni, who retired from international cricket last year, had managed to score 200 runs in 14 matches during IPL 2020 in the UAE. It was Dhoni's lowest aggregate in an IPL season.
"Dhoni is no longer the same batsman he was four or five years ago. Even he knows that. In the last match, Dhoni pushed 2-3 players ahead of him.
"The CSK skipper also tried to hit a shot off the first delivery, which is a good sign for them as he has lately been criticised for his sluggish batting approach. Sam Curran and Ravindra Jadeja, who are in great form with the bat, should be promoted by Dhoni until he returns to form," said Manjrekar in an exclusive chat with India TV.
Manjrekar also opined that it will be a big challenge for CSK to play five matches at the Wankhede Stadium. He further said that the three-time IPL champions should chase excellence instead of loyalty.
CSK would look to get back to winning ways when they take on Punjab Kings in Mumbai. It would also be Dhoni's 200th appearance for the Chennai outfit. "According to me, a team should prefer excellence over loyalty to win the title. CSK wouldn't be going in the right direction if they give preference to loyalty," said Manjrekar.