MS Dhoni in IPL 2018: 5 reasons why the CSK captain could struggle in IPL 11

MS Dhoni – The man, the myth, the legend.

About a few years ago, MS Dhoni was the epitome of an ideal T20 batsman. His power hitting abilities, sensational captaincy, the ease and efficiency with which he finished games and, of course, his ability to keep the scoreboard ticking made him an icon in the shortest format of the game – both for India and for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. Other being a global superstar of the game, Dhoni is also treated as a demigod in Tamil Nadu’s capital owing to his long and successful association with CSK over the years. After two years with Pune, the ‘MS Dhoni IPL 2018’ journey will once again unfold in the city of Chennai where the legendary wicketkeeper has already won two titles in the past. MS Dhoni in IPL 2018 will don the famous yellow jersey and will hope to repeat and emulate his heroic feats of the past.

While there is every possibility of MS Dhoni’s IPL journey being highly rewarding, it is also true that time and age have started catching with the iconic former India captain, with his swashbuckling T20 performances now being classified as merely ‘efficient’. To sum it up, it is clear that Dhoni is no longer the dasher he used to be and has mellowed down quite a bit in the last few years. He is often found struggling during the initial phase of his innings and plays a bit too many dot balls for anyone’s liking in the T20 format.

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A look at MS Dhoni’s IPL journey and possible reasons as to why the returning CSK skipper could struggle in IPL 2018:

MS Dhoni IPL 2018 – 5 reasons why the CSK captain could struggle in IPL 11

1. Fading finishing skills

MS Dhoni IPL and international record proves that he is one of the greatest finishers that the world of cricket has ever seen. His ability to take any game to the very end and finish it off in spectacular style is the stuff of legends. There are many famous MS Dhoni IPL moments where he has pushed CSK over the finishing line.

MS Dhoni in IPL 2018 will be expected to do the same for his side. However, it is easier said than done as the ace stumper has looked like a pale shadow of his imperious best and has struggled to provide the finishing touch for both country and club in the last couple of years. For MS Dhoni IPL 2018 campaign to be a success, the former India captain will have to find his midas touch in the death overs.

2. Extinct power-hitting ability

At the peak of his powers, MS Dhoni was one of the most feared batsmen in T20 cricket. He could run fielders ragged and had the ability to turn a match on its head at his own whims with powerful hits to the boundary. MS Dhoni IPL career is filled with such instances where he has done exactly that and won the game for CSK, MS Dhoni IPL Team 2018.

However, Dhoni is no longer the swashbuckling dasher who, when out in the middle, used to leave opposition teams running for cover. With his famous power-hitting ability as good as gone, these days the tight chases often fall short and his attempts at clearing the boundary are easily foiled by fielding captains. MS Dhoni IPL 2018 Team Chennai Super Kings will certainly be hoping that MS Dhoni in IPL 2018 can reproduce some of his old magic in the tournament.

3. Ever increasing dot-ball percentage

In recent times, Dhoni has struggled to rotate the strike and played too many dot balls even in T20 matches. He is now seen as an accumulator rather than as the finisher that he was in his early days. The 36-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman hasn’t been able to rotate strike on a frequent basis in his first 10-15 balls on the crease. He has been accumulating a lot of dot balls which also adds pressure on his batting partner.

MS Dhoni in IPL 2018 must ensure that he rotates strike on a frequent basis and doesn’t build pressure on his partner. There are more chances of CSK, MS Dhoni IPL Team 2018, reaping rewards of his wisdom and experience if he comes in to bat at no.4 and gives himself time to settle in.

MS Dhoni IPL Career in numbers:

Season

Balls faced

Strike rate

Fours

Sixes

Balls per boundary

IPL 2008

310

133.54

38

15

5.85

IPL 2009

261

127.20

22

9

8.42

IPL 2010

210

136.66

26

8

6.18

IPL 2011

247

158.70

25

23

5.15

IPL 2012

278

128.77

26

9

7.94

IPL 2013

283

162.89

32

25

4.96

IPL 2014

250

148.40

22

20

5.95

IPL 2015

305

121.96

27

17

6.93

IPL 2016

210

135.23

18

14

6.56

IPL 2017

250

115

15

16

8.06

 

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4. Failure to reinvent himself

MS Dhoni in IPL 2018 must reinvent himself and become an unpredictable batsman. Else, he is bound to struggle this season. Dhoni’s range of boundary shots has become thinner and thinner over the years and as it now includes muscling the bowl on the off side and hitting the ball down the ground. The opposition bowlers have studied MS Dhoni IPL batting over the years and have started bowling yorkers or low full tosses at the 4th or 5th stump, from such an angle it is difficult to either muscle it onto the off side or hit it down the ground.

In such situations, Dhoni just tries to smash the ball and he misses it on most of the occasions, this also increases the number of dot balls. His fans will be hoping that MS Dhoni’s IPL 2018 fresh start will see him bringing out the iconic ‘Helicopter shot’ once again.

5. Continued woes against spin bowling

It is no secret that Dhoni has been struggling against spinners in the last 2-3 years. He has had trouble facing all types of spinners but particularly, it has been the leg spinners and the left arm spinners who have troubled him the most. Considering the fact that all teams have quality spinners, he will have his task cut out. Another significant fact here is that CSK, MS Dhoni IPL Team 2018 will be playing 7 of their 14 matches at Chepauk where the ball turns a lot. This will only make things harder for MS Dhoni in IPL 2018, who has neither been able to rotate strike nor attack quality spinners.

Another reason which is bound to worry all Dhoni and CSK fans ahead of IPL 2018.

READ: CSK Team 2018 Players List, Captain, Coach, Chennai Super Kings squad in IPL 2018

 WATCH: VIVO IPL 2018 Anthem posted by MS Dhoni on his Twitter account

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