Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir was surprised to see MS Dhoni bat so down the order, despite Chennai Super Kings chasing a huge 217-run target to win. In a still chase on Tuesday night, the likes of Sam Curran, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Kedar Jadhav batted at No. 4, 5 and 6 respectively while Dhoni reserved himself for No. 7. Gambhir, the former Kolkata Knight Riders captain, who led the franchise to two IPL titles, felt that Dhoni should have batted higher and led from the front.
"I was a bit surprised to be honest," Gambhir said on ESPNcricinfo's T20 Time Out. "MS Dhoni batting at No. 7? And sending [Ruturaj] Gaikwad before him, Sam Curran before him. Makes no sense to me. In fact, you should be leading from the front. And this is not what you call leading from the front. Batting at No. 7 when you're chasing what… 213 ? The game was over. Faf was probably the lone warrior."
Like Gambhir mentioned, Faf du Plessis top-scored 72 off 37 balls including seven sixes, an effort that gave CSK a chance after they had been reduced to 77/4 in Match of IPL 2020. Dhoni did come out to partner du Plessis and even though the former India captain managed to remain unbeaten on 29 off 17, including a hat-trick of sixes off Tom Curran in the final over of the match, the match was well beyond CSK's reach.
Dhoni explained his reason to bat lower, saying he wanted to give other a chance considering he hasn't played much cricket, but Gambhir reckons getting out early is a risk the CSK captain should have taken.
"Yes, you can talk about MS Dhoni's last over [when he hit three sixes], but it was of no use to be honest. They were all just personal runs. There is nothing wrong if you end up getting out early, at least start leading from the front, trying to inspire the team as well," Gambhir said.