MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) fell short by 16 runs to chase the 217-run target set by Steve Smith's Rajasthan Royals (RR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match in Sharjah on Tuesday.
Chasing a mammoth 217-run target, Chennai Super Kings got off to a good start but wickets kept falling at regular intervals. Faf du Plessis kept their hopes alive but the match came to a point when CSK needed 48 runs from 12 deliveries which was almost impossible. Skipper MS Dhoni did smash three consecutive sixes to Tom Curran in the last over but it was too late.
Meanwhile, former India batsman and BJP MP Gautam Gambhir slammed Dhoni for batting lower down the order. Dhoni came out to bat in the 14th over of the innings with CSK at 114/5. The side still needed 103 runs for the win at that time. Sam Curran, Kedar Jadhav and Ruturaj Gaikwad had come in front of Dhoni to bat against Rajasthan.
"I was a bit surprised, to be honest. MS Dhoni batting at No. 7? And sending 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 number seven when you're chasing what 217? The game was over. Faf was probably the lone warrior," ESPNCricinfo quoted Gambhir as saying.
"Yes, you can talk about MS Dhoni's last over when he hit three sixes, but it was of no use, to be honest. It was just all personal runs. See, if someone else would have done this, some other captain had batted number seven, he would have got a lot of flak. It is MS Dhoni - probably why people don't talk about it. When you don't have Suresh Raina, you're making people believe that Sam Curran is better than you. You're making people believe that Ruturaj Gaikwad, Curran, Kedar Jadhav, Faf du Plessis, M Vijay, all these guys, are better than you," he added.
Meanwhile, MS Dhoni has said that the team is trying out different things as of now, which is why he had dropped down in the batting order.
"Oh I haven't batted for a very long time, you know and the 14-day quarantine doesn't really help. I'm slowly trying to get into the tournament. Also at the same time, we want to try a few different things like Sam Curran or Ravindra Jadeja, sending them up," Dhoni told Star Sports at the post-match presentation.
"It's something we haven't done for a very long time and this gives us an opportunity to do that, at the start of the tournament. And as the tournament progresses you'll see the senior players stepping in and taking that responsibility, but otherwise, we have been one team that has kept doing the same thing. I feel we have an opportunity over here where we can try a few different things if it works. If it doesn't work, we can always go back to what our strengths are," he added.