“MS Dhoni at No. 8 is crazy. Stephen Fleming wants…’: Batting coach Mike Hussey on CSK’s plans in IPL 2024 | Cricket


When Shivam Dube was firing on all cylinders and Daryl Mitchell was doing his best to keep the scoreboard ticking. IPL2024 During the match against Gujarat Titans, the cameras shifted to the Chennai Super Kings dugout. Behind the glass doors, MS Dhoni was seen practicing his big hits in the shadows. There were five overs left in the innings and CSK had as many as seven wickets in the bank, including an extra-batter. It was the perfect time for a Dhoni show.

Stephen Fleming (right) with MS Dhoni (PTI)

Chepauk’s well-informed crowd sensed it, as did the broadcasters’ hero camera. It was repaired on Dhoni. In between deliveries, the feed would switch to this camera on which Dhoni was in the centre. A large crowd would erupt in anticipation. It’s been almost a year since the world last saw Dhoni bat in a competitive cricket match. The wait got longer when Dhoni didn’t get a chance to come out in the middle to brandish his willow in the IPL 2024 opener against Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

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On Monday, the anticipation continued to grow. When Dube, after playing a superb knock of 51 off 23 balls, came out trying to drop Rashid Khan into the stands off the second ball of the 19th over, the Chepauk crowd waited with bated breath for Dhoni to come out of the dugout. The confident, familiar walk, the authoritative look and the gift-filled approach to the crease – what a sight it is. Only if the CSK management thought with the heart.

Young Sameer Rizvi entered. There was a collective gasp from Chepauk but the young right-hander made an immediate impression by hitting his first ball in the IPL for a six. He smashed six more with the last ball.

Rizvi got out on the third ball of the last over. The more than 30,000 people of Chepauk and the billions glued to the screens once again hoped against hope. Three balls will never be enough for Dhoni but it doesn’t matter. The possibility of a six-way fairytale hat-trick cannot be ruled out. But fairy tales are far from reality. Ravindra Jadeja was sent at No.7.

Mike Hussey on Dhoni coach Fleming’s plans for CSK

The wait grew longer. Dhoni is yet to get a chance to bat in the 17th edition and if CSK batting coach Mike Hussey is to be believed, the chances of the legendary cricketer being promoted up the order are thin. Hussey said it was a little “crazy” to have Dhoni at No. 8, but the Impact player rule allows them to field an extra batter each time.

“It’s definitely been a directive from (Stephen) Fleming to keep moving the game forward with the impact player. We have an extra batter and an extra bowler, so the batting order keeps getting longer. I think that we now have an MSD at 8, which is crazy. And MSD is hitting pretty well right now (in the nets) because we have so much depth in our resources, that means the players at the top of the order, if they are divided, take the positive route. “We prefer that they continue to move the game forward. If you can do that, you will never be criticized. Fleming wants us to play fast,” Hussey said.

New Zealand Rachin Ravindra hit an explosive 46 and took three catches to help holders Chennai Super Kings secure their second consecutive IPL victory with a 63-run thrashing of Gujarat Titans. Left-hander Ravindra, in his maiden IPL season, hit his runs off 20 balls while captain Ruturaj Gaikwad also hit 46 as Chennai posted 206-6 at their home MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Seam bowlers Mustafizur Rahman, Deepak Chahar and Tushar Deshpande took two wickets each to help restrict Shubman Gill-led Gujarat to 143-8 and suffer their biggest IPL defeat by runs.

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