IPL 2024: “We've got so much depth,” Michael Hussey explains CSK’s plans to have MS Dhoni at No. 8 in batting order

Dhoni is yet to wield his willow in the ongoing IPL season for CSK.

MS Dhoni | CSKIt's been almost a year since MS Dhoni last batted in a competitive cricket match. The wait was prolonged when Dhoni didn't get a chance to come out in the middle to wield his willow in CSK’s IPL 2024 opener against RCB last week.

As CSK hosted GT in their second match at Chepauk on Tuesday (March 26), the fans were eagerly waiting to get a glimpse of their Thala hitting some big shots. However, Dhoni didn’t come out to bat, much to the disappointment of the capacity crowd.

After Shivam Dube’s dismissal in the penultimate over, the defending champions sent young Sameer Rizvi at No. 6. In the final over, Rizvi got out after a dazzling cameo and his wicket led to Ravindra Jadeja’s arrival at the crease.

After the game, CSK batting coach Michael Hussey stated that the chances of MS Dhoni getting promoted up the order are slim.

While Hussey admitted that it is a bit "crazy" to have Dhoni at No.8, he said the Impact Player rule allows them to field an extra batter every time and the batting order keeps lengthening as a result.

"It's definitely been a directive from (Stephen) Fleming to keep pushing the game forward with the impact player we have an extra batter and bowler so the batting order just keeps lengthening. I think we've now got MSD at 8 which is crazy. And MSD is batting pretty well at the moment (in the nets) because we've got so much depth in our resources, it means that the players up the order, if they are in two minds, take the positive route. They will certainly have the backing from the coaches and captain. We prefer them to keep pushing the game forward. If you get out in doing that, you will never be criticised. Fleming wants us to play fast," Hussey said in the post-match press conference.

Coming to the match, CSK racked up a massive 206/6 in their allotted 20 overs after being asked to bat first, with key contributions from Shivam Dube (51 off 23), Rachin Ravindra (46 off 20) and skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad (46 off 36).

Hussey was effusive in praise of Dube, saying that saying a lot of credit should go to the lanky left-hander for 'tirelessly working' on overcoming his weakness against the short ball.

"I have got to give a lot of credit to Shivam Dube. He has worked, worked and worked tirelessly against the short ball in his own time. Not here, in our time, he works hard on it here as well. He gets the throwers to throw a lot of short stuff to him. But, to his credit, he has gone away, he has seen that's an area he has got to improve on and that's an area that opposition bowlers are going to come at him with," Hussey remarked.

"He has gone away and done hours and hours of hard work. He is playing it with confidence. And he is as dangerous as ever against the spin," he added.

The batting coach highlighted how Shivam Dube has sent a clear message to the opposition teams in terms of coming up with plans to dismiss him in the forthcoming matches.

"You rewind maybe one or two years ago, teams were coming to bowl the short ball and he would either duck out of the way or defend. That's all he had until he got in and set, and then he played some shots against it. Now the bowlers are still coming at him with the same plan but he's able to score off it as well and he's been able to find boundaries if he gets in the right positions as well," Hussey said.

"So that's a testament to the work that he has put in. Now it's back on the bowlers. What are they going to do? Are they going to continue with that plan? Or go away from that and try something else? It will hold him in good stead in the IPL and even if he goes on to get more opportunities for India, it will hold him in great stead," he added.

With two wins out of two matches, CSK are currently leading the points table. They will next face Delhi Capitals in Visakhapatnam on Sunday (March 31).


By Salman Anjum - 27 Mar, 2024

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