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Indian Premier League 2020

Dhoni widely criticised for his ‘didn’t see the spark’ comment on CSK youngsters

MS Dhoni CSK
by Wisden Staff 3-minute read

MS Dhoni, the Chennai Super Kings [CSK] captain, has been widely criticised by fans and pundits after claiming the team management “didn’t see the kind of spark” they wanted to from the youngsters following their defeat to Rajasthan Royals.

Chennai struggled with the bat against RR, posting mere 125/5 after winning the toss and eventually succumbed to their seventh IPL 2020 defeat in 10 matches. They are now in danger of elimination, having being left needing a win in all of their remaining matches, while also hoping that other results go their way to maintain their 100% record of finishing in the top four.

While Dhoni conceded that CSK’s performances haven’t been up to the mark in the ongoing tournament, he was quick to add that the youngsters failed to live up to their expectations, which was why they had to bank on the experienced customers.

“We tried a few things – that is one thing you don’t want to do, you don’t want to do too many chopping and changes because what really happens is after three-four, or five, games you are not really sure about anything,” Dhoni said in his post-match interview. “So you want to give guys a fair go. Then if you are not performing, you switch and go back to somebody else and then you give him the same kind of run. Insecurity is something that you don’t really want to prevail in the dressing room.

“This season, we were not really there. And, also, there were a few chances to the youngsters and maybe we didn’t see the kind of spark that they could have given us to say, okay, push [out] the experienced guy and maybe make some space for them (youngsters).”

Dhoni’s remarks invited criticism from all quarters, including Kris Srikkanth, the former India batsman, who laid it into Dhoni, even questioning whether Dhoni saw the “spark” in the likes of Kedar Jadhav and Piyush Chawla.

“What is Dhoni’s deal?” Srikkanth said on Star Sports Tamil. “He says Jagadeesan doesn’t have spark, but does ‘scooter’ Jadhav have that spark? This is ridiculous. I will not accept this answer today. All this talk of process, and Chennai’s tournament itself is over.

“Dhoni now says that since the pressure is off, he’ll give the youngsters a chance. Come on. I don’t understand this rubbish about the process at all. What spark didn’t he see in Jagadeesan? What spark did he see in Jadhav and Piyush Chawla?”

CSK fans too weren’t impressed with their captain’s comments, especially considering the fact that the likes of N Jagadeesan and Ruturaj Gaikwad played a combined total of three matches, whereas a 35-year-old Kedar Jadhav, whose 62 runs in eight matches this season, have come at a strike-rate of 93.93, was given a much longer rope.


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