“I was a bit surprised, to be honest,” Gambhir said.
“MS Dhoni batting at No. 7? And sending [Ruturaj] Gaikwad before him, Sam Curran before him. Makes no sense to me. In fact, you should be leading from the front. And this is not what you call leading from the front. Batting at No. 7 when you’re chasing what… 213 ? The game was over. Faf was probably the lone warrior.
“Yes, you can talk about MS Dhoni’s last over [when he hit three sixes], but it was of no use, to be honest. It was just all personal runs.”
Gambhir and CSK fans were left shocked with Dhoni holding himself back till so late. But coach Stephen Fleming in his post-match interview as expected has defended the move.
“MS is a specialist at the end of the innings , always has been,” Fleming said. “Curran was there to try and hit us and keep us in the game at that point when we were falling behind. He’s got good hitting power as we saw. Ruturaj… it was his first game and we wanted to get him into the game, into the order. We wanted to be aggressive, we’ve got a long batting order and we’re just trying to use our resources smartly.”
“See, if someone else would have done this, some other [batsman] captain had batted No. 7, he would have got a lot of flak. It is MS Dhoni – probably why people don’t talk about it,” Gambhir said. “When you don’t have Suresh Raina, you’re making people believe that Sam Curran is better than you. You’re making people believe that Ruturaj Gaikwad, Curran, Kedar Jadhav, Faf du Plessis, M Vijay, all these guys, are better than you.”