Stephen Fleming, Chennai Super Kings, has hit out at MS Dhoni’s critics, adding that it is unfair to expect someone to score 30-ball 70 from a player who hasn’t played competitive cricket for 14 months.
MS Dhoni came in for sharp criticism for his approach with the bat during the game against Rajasthan Royals where CSK needed to chase down 217 in 20 overs.
Dhoni demoted himself to the No.7 spot in the batting order and came into bat when the equation had come down to 103 runs off the last 38 balls. And, even as Faf du Plessis was teeing off at the other end, MSD chose to take singles and managed just nine runs off his first 12 balls before smoking three back-t0-back sixes in the last over.
Fleming, in a video released by the Chennai Super Kings official website, said, that the Royals game was the first real instance where MS Dhoni faced more than 2 balls in an innings in the last 14 months, adding that the former Indian international will get better as the tournament progresses.
“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,” Stephen 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,” he added.
“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.” Fleming added.
CSK will lock horns with Delhi Capitals on Friday and it will be interesting to see at which position MS Dhoni comes in to bat.