CSK, probably the most successful IPL teams lead by the brilliant Dhoni have lost the first match in this years IPL. While winning and losing are just part and parcel of the game it is the manner in which CSK lost that has upset some of its fans. Dhoni hit 3 sixes but that’s when it was mathematically impossible to win and showed no intent when there was still a possibility.
CSK looked like they’ve given up on the game since the middle overs with no player showing intent. Although Du Plessis was hitting sixes at the end there was no support from the other side. It looked like they just wanted to get close to the score without losing any more wickets to keep a good net run rate. This approach would surely help CSK in the long run as many teams have gone out due to a poor NRR, but that should not be an excuse for playing the way they did.
That brings me to the playing style of CSK. They have a really experienced core with Dhoni et al, capable of analysing every opposition and conditions well. This often leads to them winning games without fuss and quite boring-ly if you ask me. CSK rarely get all out chasing a very big target. This is because they give up in the 14th over when the target is too big and start playing for the NRR. This “too calculated” approach doesn’t sit well with fans who want to watch a thrilling match and not sit with a notebook calculating NRR and points needed to reach the next stage.
Dhoni has been criticised by Gambhir and rightfully so. Their job as cricketers is to give everything for a winning cause and not worry about NRR or stadium infrastructure or world peace when they’re playing a T20 match. That’s the difference between RCB and CSK. Whatever be the score, RCB would always go for a win. They would either outscore the opponent or go all out for 63 while doing so. There is no way they would just sit and play for a good NRR. That is why RCB with a very poor IPL record are still celebrated by the cricket fans. It’s because they provide entertainment.
There are many Dhoni fans who would defend his inning and playing style and think he is above criticism. I found a very good comment on Reddit for those people.