IPL 2021: Is Dhoni’s current batting form an ‘asset’ or a ‘liability’? Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni is terribly out of form and struggling big time with the bat with a low confidence to come higher in the batting order raising question mark on his utility as a batsman, yet CSK CEO has solidly backed him hailing his “unparalleled leadership” as reason for team’s “turn of fortunes” in the IPL 2021.
IPL 2021 – CSK CEO says ‘Dhoni will lead us to IPL 2021 title’: It is important to mention that Dhoni has been a pale shadow of himself in the recent past as he had crossed 30 only once in the last 11 games without a 50 in the last 20 matches, and was out without scoring in the 1st match vs Delhi Capitals. but the CSK seems to be living in denial. “We are back on track and placed 2nd at the IPL table. And for all this, credit goes to MS Dhoni. The way he leads the team. His talisman presence itself is half the job done. He is always an asset and never a liability. I am sure he will take us to the playoffs & clinch yet another title for us,”* CSK CEO Kashi Vishwanathan told Insidesport.co in an exclusive interview.
IPL 2021- Why Dhoni coming to bat at No. 7? The CSK CEO conveniently ducked the question of Dhoni’s extended run of failure with the bat when pointed out that he got out without opening his account against Delhi in the first match on April 10, did not bat in the low scoring 2nd match against Punjab Kings last Friday and finally scored a struggling 18 runs against Rajasthan Royals on Monday.
When asked why Dhoni was batting at no 7 and whether he was not sure of his batting prowess anymore, CSK CEO said: “See, he plays for the team. To bat at the position he has preferred is something, MS has taken in consultation with the team management. He plays to the situation in the best interest of the game. I am sure if need be he and the team management might decide to play him up the order. But that is for them to decide. He has played only 2 innings so far & I am sure he will come up with big knock performances… CSK needs its captain more than ever before. He is an asset and will always remain so.”.
IPL 2021: Is Dhoni’s batting asset or liability for Chennai Super Kings?
But the question remains, is Dhoni an asset or a liability for the team? The CSK captain had a poor IPL outing last season as well where he scored just 200 runs in 14 matches with an average of just 25 runs with a strike rate of 116.27 with a highest score of 47 runs.
Insidesport posed the question to a few former India players and cricket experrts and they also seemed to be in unison in their opinion on MS Dhoni as a leader. Former India opening batsman Arun Lal said Dhoni was always a match winner and it wouldn’t be wise to write him off so easily. *”He might not have played much competitive cricket but he is never a liability. You have to judge a player on his best days, not his worst days. MS is still a match winner. Wait for a few matches and you will again see how he proves his detractors wrong.”*
Former India middle order batsman Ashok Malhotra said *“Dhoni is a great leader, a true legend. The kind of ability he has, I am sure he will re-establish himself as a great match winner and a finisher.”
Earlier, former India opening batsman Gautam Gambhir felt that Dhoni should bat at number four or five and not below that for his side. Speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Live, Gambhir said, “MS Dhoni should be batting higher, that’s what matters because ultimately people should start leading from the front. 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. 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”.