IPL 2020: 'He is gonna take some time,' CSK coach defends MS Dhoni after RR loss
IPL 2020: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach Stephen Flemming has defended MS Dhoni saying the skipper will take some time to return to his best.
Dhoni batted at No. 7 during CSK's chase against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on Tuesday. CSK fell short by 16 runs as Dhoni remained unbeaten on 29 off 17 balls. He failed to get going when he walked in the middle in the 14th over, taking 12 balls to score his first nine runs, while Faf du Plessis, on the other end, tried to control the asking rate single-handedly.
Dhoni finally smashed three back-to-back sixes in the final over. However, it was too late by then. As a result, cricket fans fumed on social media raising questions against CSK captain's batting position.
During a post-match interview, CSK head coach Flemming came in defense of his skipper saying Dhoni batted according to the demand of the situation.
"We have this question every year. He was in in the 12th (14th) over, which is pretty much optimal time, and sort of batted accordingly. He is coming back from not playing a huge amount of cricket, so the expectations, to see him at his best, is gonna take some time. But you see him towards the end, he was very good," added Flemming after CSK's 16-run loss to RR at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Before the IPL 2020, Dhoni's last appearance in professional cricket was at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. After the heartbreaking semi-final loss to New Zealand, Dhoni did not make himself available for selection and thereby missed India's series against the likes of New Zealand, West Indies, and Australia. The 39-year-old eventually announced retirement from international cricket in August. Having led India to all the ICC titles, Dhoni easily was India's greatest limited-overs captain.
Meanwhile, even Dhoni had defended his decision to bat down the order citing the long break he had in the lead up to India's T20 league.
"I haven't batted for a long time. 14-day quarantine doesn't help. Also wanted to try different things, give opportunities to Sam. Have the opportunity to try different things. If it doesn't work, you can always go back to your strengths," Dhoni said on Tuesday in a post-match interview.
With a better Net Run Rate, RR are currently at the top of the IPL 2020 table with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Delhi Capitals (DC) placed second and third respectively. CSK's next IPL outing is against DC on Friday, while RR's next match is against KXIP on Sunday.