‘Where is MS Dhoni?’ Irfan Pathan asks Thala to ‘take responsibility’ as ex-CSK captain comes to bat at 9 against Punjab

Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan slammed Chennai Super Kings’ star former captain MS Dhoni for coming out to bat at number 9 in the IPL game against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Sunday i.e. on May 5. The CSK icon for the first time in his illustrious career, came at the number 9 spot to bat in T20 cricket on Sunday. 

Dhoni’s appearance in eight innings at No 8 has all come across IPL 2023 and 2024. Once again, fireworks were expected from the effortless power hitter, however, the legend was dismissed by PBKS pacer Harshal Patel on a golden duck.

While speaking to Star Sports, Pathan added that MS Dhoni batting at No.9 doesn’t work for CSK. He also added his strategy to bat at the end will not work for the team if they qualify for playoffs. Pathan added that the former captain needed to bat for at least 4-5 overs.

“Where is MS Dhoni? He should take responsibility in the batting department. He is in form and there is no point in holding himself back to allow others to score freely. I know he doesn’t want to come early but there is no harm if he bats in the 16th over of the innings,” Pathan said as quoted by CricToday.

“He has enough experience to know that his team needs him. CSK were in trouble against Punjab Kings and it was responsibly to score quick runs,” Pathan added.

Pathan also added that if CSK qualifies for the playoffs, MS need to bat up in order. “As a proper senior guy, who’s in form, he needs to bat up the order. He can’t be doing the same thing that he has done on quite a few occasions,” Pathan told Star Sports as quoted by media reports.

“Yes, he made an impact against Mumbai, but here, when the team needed him, you can’t send Shardul Thakur ahead of yourself. You can’t see Dhoni batting at No.9. Sameer Rizvi was also padded up in the 15th over. They need to work out something; someone has to tell Dhoni, ‘Come on mate, bat for 4 overs’,” Pathan added.

Earlier, KKR coach and Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir praised CSK’s team strategy of sending Dhoni out to bat for only 8-10 balls at a time, which he said has taken the pressure off the former skipper and allowed him to express himself freely. 

While speaking to Sportskeeda, Gambhir said, “It is a strategy of CSK (Dhoni facing just 8-10 balls) and that has given Dhoni the freedom. Different teams have different strategies and CSK has done this for the past 2-3 years. The freedom has allowed Dhoni to have an impact. When you play 20-25 balls you have that responsibility to consolidate, but when it’s just 8-10 balls you can go out there and express yourself with freedom.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 06 May 2024, 11:44 AM IST

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