Fans and experts talking about MS Dhoni’s batting after CSK fail to chase down a total is nothing new but what was a bit surprising was the fact that Dhoni’s captaincy also attracted a fair amount of criticism after CSK’s loss to Rajasthan Royals.
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen said he’s ‘not buying’ into Dhoni’s justification of batting at No.7 when CSK were chasing 217 to win.
“It’s not about experiments, saying ‘oh it’s early on in the tournament’. Let me tell you, T20 cricket can bite you very, very quickly. You can end up losing five games on the go very quickly and then you can end up thinking ‘oh my goodness, are we actually going to get into the finals?’. I am not buying into this nonsense,” said Pietersen on a post-match show on Star Sports.
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Pietersen’s comments after Dhoni, at the end of the RR match, said he is coming after a long break and he wanted to give the opportunity to the likes of Jadeja and Sam Curran early on in the tournament.
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“We want to try a few different things, like sending Sam or Jadeja. That’s something we haven’t done for a very long time and this gives us an opportunity to do that at the start of the tournament,” Dhoni said.
“As the tournament progresses, you will see the senior players stepping in and taking that added responsibility.
“Otherwise, we have been one team that has kept doing the same thing. I feel we have an opportunity to try a few different things. if it doesn’t work, we can go back to what our strength is,” he added.
Pietersen however, believed the result of the match could well have been different had Dhoni batted higher up the order.
“You have to at least give yourself the opportunity to win the game. When you see how close they went, Du Plessis started to go, then MS Dhoni started hitting at the end and then they lost by only 16 runs.
“So we were talking about a 4 or 5-over period when they were just knocking it around, knocking it around and running silly singles. They could have caught the game up there with a little bit of intent. They could have easily knocked this score off. If you need 20 in the last over, you can win this game,” Pietersen said.