With Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and skipper MS Dhoni coming under scrutiny over the team’s dismal performance so far in IPL 2020, former wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani has come out in support of Dhoni. Kirmani, who was part of the 1983 World Cup winning team, has implored the critics to remember Dhoni’s contributions to Indian cricket over the years before judging him. “There is a time in the career of every player to escalate, similarly there is also a time to come down. Things change with time, I take pity on those who are criticising Dhoni for his performance,” Kirmani told PTI.
Three-time winners of the Indian Premier League (IPL), CSK led by MS Dhoni finds itself in an unusual position in the current edition of the tournament. Languishing at seventh spot in the points table after the first seven games, CSK is only ahead of Kings XI Punjab at this stage. With the team unable to find momentum in the tournament so far, the focus has naturally shifted to skipper Dhoni. In IPL 2020, Dhoni has not been able to take the team past the finishing line during run-chases like in the past. This has prompted fans and experts to express their disappointment and concern over Dhoni's performance.
Referring to doubts raised on Dhoni’s ability to finish run-chases like how he had done in several instances in the past, Kirmani said, “We must not forget that Dhoni had been one of the best finishers of the game at one point of time. He is returning to cricket after a long sabbatical and it has impacted Mahi’s (Dhoni) performance in this IPL season.” Adding that it is only natural that a cricketer's agility decreases after a point, Kirmani said that it is imperative to accept this transition.
CSK will play Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Tuesday and it is essential for Dhoni and his team to win six of the remaining seven matches if they want to have a chance of making it to the playoffs. CSK have been in the playoffs 10 times in the past 12 seasons.
(With PTI inputs)