Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming has hit out at criticism over MS Dhoni’s form, saying it’s not right to expect someone who hasn’t played competitive cricket over the last 18 months. The former New Zealand captain said the CSK skipper will get better as he spends more time in the middle.
Stephen Fleming’s comments come after Dhoni faced flak for his approach during a failed chase against Rajasthan Royals in Sharjah earlier this week.
Dhoni dropped himself down the order and walked in at No. 7 despite the asking rate shooting up in Chennai Super Kings’ failed chase of 217 in Sharjah. Dhoni arrived at the middle when 103 were needed off 38 balls. The CSK captain kept knocking singles and managed just 9 runs in 12 balls until the 19th over. Dhoni hit 3 massive sixes in the final over but CSK had already lost the game by then.
“MS is one of the players that hasn’t played much cricket in the last year-and-a-half. Everyone expects MS to come out and do what he has done in the past. It doesn’t just happen, it takes a bit of work and a part of his process of getting up to speed is his game time,” Fleming was quoted as saying by CSK’s official website.
“And that (match against Rajasthan Royals) was really the first time that he’d batted in the middle apart from a couple of balls against Mumbai Indians. As the tournament goes on, he’ll just get better and better.
“To come in and expect him to get a 30-ball 70 would be a tough ask and we’ve other players also who are in good form and can do a job. So, it’s valuing what each player can do, and also respecting Dhoni is one of a kind when he’s in form and has been playing.”
Having lost to Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings will be hoping to get back to winning ways. However, they face another tough test as they take on in-form Delhi Capitals in Dubai on Friday.