Harsha Bhogle is of the opinion that the reasoning behind MS Dhoni sending himself in at No.7 might be that, knowing he won’t be around forever, the CSK skipper might have wanted to see how the youngsters fare in crunch situations. Bhogle, however, clarified that he was perplexed by the move.
MS Dhoni became the talking point in a CSK vs RR game for the second year running, but this time around, it had more to do with tactics and less with controversy. Chasing a mammoth 217, Dhoni, despite CSK getting off to a slow start and seemingly struggling in the chase, only sent himself in at No.7, a move for which he has since received criticism. The game was almost beyond CSK’s reach by the time Dhoni walked out to bat - they needed 108 off 36 balls - and his last-over shenanigans were not enough to get his side over the line.
While a vast majority, including Gambhir, has berated the CSK skipper for his tactical blunder, renowned expert Harsha Bhogle tried to make sense of it. Speaking on ‘Cricbuzz Live’ Bhogle said that Dhoni might have demoted himself to see how some of the other youngsters fare, given he won’t be around forever.
“I just wondered if Dhoni said (to his teammates) ‘Guys, I’m not going to be around forever. Come, you guys go and play. I’m not going to be around forever. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sam Curran, let me see how you guys do it.’ I just wonder if that was the case. Because he had no reason to be batting at No.7 in that chase,” Bhogle said on Cricbuzz LIVE.
The expert commentator, however, claimed that in the case of him needing more balls to find his rhythm, Dhoni should have come up the order and taken his time.
“If Dhoni needs 15 balls - I mean, those sixes he hit today were monsters; they were not normal sixes - then surely he’s got to come up.”
Meanwhile, speaking on the same show, veteran journalist Joy Bhattacharjya remarked that Dhoni, given he had the six-hitting prowess, he should have batted up the order. Bhattacharjya opined that he could have understood Dhoni’s move had the CSK skipper showed consistency in sticking to a left-right combination, but pointed out how the promotion of Kedar Jadhav above him exposed a logical loophole in the 39-year-old’s supposed tactics.
“Kedar Jadhav before him, well, No.5 maybe I could have understood, but No.7 in a run-chase of 217 is way too late. If you’re the kind of guy who could hit sixes - the way he showed us the last over - you should have been coming earlier than that. If you’re repeatedly sending in No.7 batsman to maintain the left-right combination then I can understand but you’re sending in Kedar Jadhav as well. So no, I could not understand the move,” Bhattacharjya said on the same show.