MS Dhoni, alongside Sharma, has been IPL’s most successful captains. He has captained the team to 3 IPL trophies and reached the finals 5 times. These results are nearly unmatched. His cricketing brain is talked world over and he is a master strategist. In times of pressure situations, he rotates his resources well and most often, comes out trumps.
Lately, CSK has been called a team of “senior citizens” and Dhoni has still managed to win the 2018 trophy and make it to the finals in 2019. It is clear that whatever the man does comes with the “midas touch”.
However, the team had a shambolic performance in 2020. They came 7th in the group stages. Many pundits pointed at the incorrect use of players by Dhoni which resulted in such a performance. We look at 5 players that Dhoni could have utilized better in order to alleviate the team’s performance.
CSK had another solid seam-bowling all-rounder in the form of Albie Morkel in 2011-2014. He was vital for the team and played crucial innings. As a replacement, they had drafted Morris into the squad in 2013. However, he only played with them for a couple of seasons. His six-hitting abilities and bowling yorkers in the death could have been better utilized by Dhoni.
Tye was bought by CSK in 2015 but played his first match only in 2017 when he left CSK. For a T20 death bowling specialist, Tye’s services were not used by Dhoni even once during his stay at CSK. He has become a world-class death bowler in T20 cricket. He should have been developed as CSK’s death bowling pacer which is one area the team is lacking.
After coming back from their suspension, Billings became part of CSK in 2018-19. He managed to play some eye-catching innings and popped some unbelievable catches. However, Billings could never become their mainstay in the team and was soon released in the auction.
While we agree that Wood is still part of the CSK set-up and making it his home, Wood was a lethal fact-paced bowler. On a slow-pitch like Chennai, Wood’s unmatchable pace could have been the ex-factor. He did play a few matches but was out due to injury. CSK should have stuck with him and Wood should have been a permanent feature of their squad.
Singh achieved the greatest heights in IPL while playing in Mumbai Indians. However, they released him in 2018 and he was picked by CSK where he played two seasons but could not adjust into the set-up. With existing spinners like Tahir and Satner, Bhajji was constantly in and out of the team. He moved to KKR post in the subsequent seasons. Having a spinner of Bhajji’s caliber is always a boon for any team and CSK should have reposed more faith in him.