On Tuesday night, in a tight chase of the 217-run target set by Rajasthan Royals (RR), it had been pretty baffling to watch MS Dhoni not bat up the order and instead reserve himself to the No. 7 spot during the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) innings.
CSK at one stage were reduced to 77 for 3 in the 9th over. The stage was set for Dhoni to grace the field and unleash ‘the finisher’ in him. But instead, he let Ruturaj Gaikwad and Kedar Jadhav bat before him. MS Dhoni explained after the match the reason behind reserving himself for the No. 7 position, saying he wanted to give opportunities to other players knowing that he hasn’t batted for a long time. English All-rounder Sam Curran, who played an important innings in the first match with the bat against the Mumbai Indians (MI), was sent to bat at No. 4 again. 36-year-old Faf du Plessis scored his 2nd consecutive fifty in Dream11 IPL 2020 with a knock of 72 off 27 balls. But it wasn’t enough for CSK to win the match against Steve Smith-led RR.
“I haven’t batted for a long time, the 14-day quarantine didn’t help”, MS Dhoni said at the post-match presentation upon being asked why he hasn’t been batting up the order. He continued, “I wanted to try various things, give opportunities to Sam (Curran), who seems to me as the kind of player who can bat up the order and score quickly. I like to try things. If it doesn’t work, you can always return to your strengths. Faf (du Plessis) batted really well”.
Dhoni eventually came to bat in the 14th over and scored 29 off 17 balls, which included a hat-trick of sixes in the final over bowled by Sam Curran’s brother, Tom Curran.