Gautam Gambhir wants Dhoni to replace Suresh Raina: The former Indian batsman expects CSK’s captain to bat up the order in IPL 2020.
Former India batsman and current Member of Parliament from East Delhi Gautam Gambhir wants Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to bat at No. 3 in the imminent 13th season of the Indian Premier League.
“It will be a good opportunity for MS Dhoni to come and bat at No. 3. And he has been away from the game for the last one year, so he would end up getting a lot more balls to face and then he can actually play the anchor innings as well which he has been doing for India for the last couple of years,” Gambhir was quoted as saying on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.
Suresh Raina has returned to India for personal reasons and will be unavailable for the remainder of the IPL season. Chennai Super Kings offers complete support to Suresh and his family during this time.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) August 29, 2020
Gambhir’s opinion has come in the aftermath of CSK losing the services of vice-captain Suresh Raina for this season. An all-time IPL legend, Raina had made the No. 3 spot his own at Super Kings. In 163 matches for CSK, Raina’s 4,527 runs have come at an average of 33.29 and a strike rate of 137.39 including a century and 32 half-centuries.
Gautam Gambhir wants Dhoni to replace Suresh Raina
Much like former captain and current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, Gambhir has also been vocal about the need for Dhoni to bat up the order in the past. With his dipping strike rate in his last two years as an international cricketer, there were always talks around India changing Dhoni’s batting position.
Having said that, Dhoni has done comparatively well in the IPL with strike rates of 150.66 and 134.62 in IPL 2019 and 2018 respectively. To add meat to his point, Gambhir pointed out how CSK have other batsmen who can finish the innings for them and how Dhoni can add experience to their top-order.
“So, MS Dhoni at No. 3 and then they have got depth with Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Sam Curran, all those guys they can come in. So, I think it is going to be a great opportunity for someone like MS Dhoni and I am sure he is going to relish that.
“Also, Suresh Raina not being there, you want to have some experienced player batting at No. 3, so it could be MS Dhoni now,” Gambhir added.
While Super Kings haven’t named a replacement for Raina as of now, they already have the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Murali Vijay in the squad who can play at No. 3 in IPL 2020.