Advising Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni to bat higher-up the order in CSK’s next IPL 2021 match against Punjab Kings on Friday, former India opener Gautam Gambhir said the legendary cricketer can’t be batting at as low as No.7 and expect to lead CSK from the front.
Dhoni batted at No.7 in CSK’s opening match of this year’s Indian Premier League against the Delhi Capitals and ended up getting dismissed for a duck after dragging an Avesh Khan delivery back onto his stumps.
“We keep mentioning this thing that a leader needs to lead from the front. You can’t be leading, when you’re batting at No.7,” Gambhir said on Star Sports show Cricket Live ahead of the CSK vs PBKS encounter in Mumbai.Adding that he is not the MS Dhoni of old, who could hit the ball to parts of the ground against any opposition at will, Gambhir said the CSK captain should bat at No.4 or 5 in the upcoming matches.“MS Dhoni should be batting higher, that’s what matters because ultimately people should start leading from the front. Yes, there are issues in their bowling line up. Plus, he is not the MS Dhoni, which he used to be probably four or five years back, where he could just come in and start taking on the bowlers from the word go. For me, I think he needs to bat at number four/ five. Nothing below that,” Gambhir added.Dhoni played his first match after the last IPL on April 10 and understandably looked rusty. The legendary cricketer had its worst IPL last year in terms of runs and strike rate as CSK failed to make the playoffs for the first time.
The three-time winners did not start on the right note this year. Despite impressive innings from Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu and a close to 190-run score, CSK lost the match comfortably to last year’s runner-up DC.
Dhoni might want to rethink his strategy of batting low the down order and come up to bat in his usual No.5 position in their next match against KL Rahul’s Punjab Kings, who got off to a winning start by beating Rajasthan Royals in their opening encounter.