IPL News 2020: Chennai Super Kings’ loss against the Rajasthan Royals attracted heavy criticism for MS Dhoni, for demoting himself down the batting order. MS Dhoni came out to bat at No. 7 position when CSK was chasing a huge total of 217 runs.
CSK eventually suffered a 16 runs defeat at the end and several former cricketers including Gautam Gambhir slammed MS Dhoni for not taking responsibility and coming up the order. Gambhir even said that MS Dhoni, as a captain, was not leading from the front by demoting himself down the batting order.
“This is not what you call leading from the front. Batting at No. 7 when you’re chasing 217. The game was over. Faf was probably the lone warrior,” said the former India opener. (IPL News 2020)
Aakash Chopra defends MS Dhoni’s decision to demote himself down the batting order. (IPL News 2020)
Besides Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Kevin Pietersen also expressed their displeasure on Dhoni’s decision. However, former India Test opener turned commentator, Aakash Chopra has come out and defended MS Dhoni’s decision to demote himself down the batting order.
Chopra feels that Dhoni’s captaincy is not about leading from the front. He has sent players ahead of him in the IPL. Dhoni also promoted Sam Curran ahead of him in the opening match against Mumbai Indians. While defending Dhoni, he also took a sly dig against Gambhir. He stated that Gambhir doesn’t mince his words when it comes to speaking about Dhoni. (IPL News 2020)
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“Chennai went down without a proper fight, some would argue. Gautam Gambhir, one who isn’t known to mince words on all matters Dhoni, said that you can’t lead from the front when you keep demoting yourself when chasing a huge total. While you can’t argue with that assessment, the fact is that Dhoni’s leadership style isn’t the same as that of many captains,” Chopra wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
“In fact, his idea of leadership isn’t about leading from the front all. He built his legacy as a captain, at least in franchise cricket, by pushing others ahead of him.
And even in his heyday, he would go in only when things started to go pear-shaped. And he was able to rescue quite a few such missions. Of course, it didn’t happen against Rajasthan, but in the game before, against Mumbai, Dhoni promoted Curran and it turned out to be a masterstroke in the end,” he added. (IPL News 2020)