Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opened their campaign at the sixteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Friday, with a match against Gujarat Titans (GT). The MS Dhoni-led team suffered a defeat in their opening fixture as they failed to defend 178. CSK batters, especially Ruturaj Gaikwad did a great job posting 178/7 in their designated 20 overs. However, their bowlers looked clueless against a strong GT batting lineup.
CSK also failed to make good use of the new ‘Impact Player’ rule. Tushar Deshpande, who was brought in as the impact player, replacing Ambati Rayudu leaked the most number of runs. The right-arm pacer ended up conceding 51 runs at an economy rate of 15.30.
Analysing CSK’s third defeat in a row against Gujarat Titans, Virender Sehwag pointed out the tactical blunder made by the four-time champions. The former India cricketer looked baffled at the decision made by MS Dhoni. Sehwag felt that Dhoni did not choose the right Impact Player and also did not utilize his resources well.
"Had Dhoni used an over from Moeen Ali somewhere in the middle, he may not have needed to go to Tushar Deshpande, who was highly expensive. You don't expect MS Dhoni making such mistakes often, but that's where you could use the risk-and-reward approach of using an off-spinner when right-handers are batting," Sehwag said during an interaction on Cricbuzz.
Sehwag was backed by Manoj Tiwary, Dhoni’s former teammate at Rising Pune Super Giants. Tiwary also felt that giving Tushar Deshpande for the last over was an interesting decision from Dhoni.
"I was surprised when they gave the impact substitute Tushar Deshpande the new ball. In domestic cricket, he often bowls in the latter phases of the game. I thought maybe they could have given Rajvardhan Hangargekar the new ball," he said.
Notably, Rajvardhan Hangargekar was the best bowler for CSK on the night as the right-arm pacer picked three wickets at the expense of 36 runs in four overs.