IPL 2020: ‘Not buying into this nonsense’ – Kevin Pietersen reacts to Dhoni’s comments on experimentation after CSK failure

Pietersen's statements came after Dhoni said CSK are trying out different strategies and they can always go back at their stability if they don't work out.

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Kevin Pietersen and MS Dhoni

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen said that he did not buy into MS Dhoni’s defence of his strategy to bat at No. 7 during the 4th match of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) against Rajasthan Royals (RR).

The Yellow Army skipper sent up IPL debutant Rituraj Gaikwad and young England allrounder Sam Curran ahead of him in the chase of 217 runs in Sharjah.

Although, coming into 14th over, the veteran cricketer scored just 10 runs off his first 13 balls while Faf du Plessis was seen playing a blistering knock of 72 runs which includes seven sixes.

Dhoni, who announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15th, smashed three successive sixes in the final over but the team lost the game by 16 runs.

“Yeah, you got to get up. You have to at least give yourself the opportunity to win the game. That’s what Sunny is talking about,” Kevin Pietersen told Star Sports during a post-match analysis show.

“When you see how close they went, Du Plessis started to go, then MS Dhoni started hitting at the end and then they lost by only 16 runs.

“So we were talking about a 4 or 5-over period when they were just knocking it around, knocking it around and running silly singles. They could have caught the game up there with a little bit of intent. They could have easily knocked this score off. If you need 20 in the last over, you can win this game.

“It’s not about experiments, saying ‘oh it’s early on in the tournament’. Let me tell you, T20 cricket can bite you very, very quickly. You can end up losing five games on the go very quickly and then you can end up thinking ‘oh my goodness, are we actually going to get into the finals?’. I am not buying into this nonsense.”

Dhoni defended his decision to bat at No. 7

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MS Dhoni

Pietersen’s statements came after the Yellow Army skipper said that CSK are trying out different opportunities and they can always go back at their stability if they don’t work out.

“We want to try a few different things, like sending Sam or Jadeja. That’s something we haven’t done for a very long time and this gives us an opportunity to do that at the start of the tournament,” Dhoni said.

“As the tournament progresses, you will see the senior players stepping in and taking that added responsibility.

“Otherwise, we have been one team that has kept doing the same thing. I feel we have an opportunity to try a few different things. if it doesn’t work, we can go back to what our strength is.”

Sunil Gavaskar on MS Dhoni’s approach

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Sunil Gavaskar

Similarly, veteran Sunil Gavaskar slammed Dhoni’s decision and said that it was difficult to understand why Dhoni batted at No. 7 when they were chasing a huge score.

In addition, he said that sending young Ruturaj Gaekward to play higher up the order on his debut when the asking run rate was shooting up, wasn’t the ideal approach.

“We can’t surmise that in the previous, he sent in Sam Curran ahead of him and Curran got 18 off 6 deliveries. Curran did well again, he hit a couple of sixes.

“And then I thought he might come in after that instead of sending young Ruturaj Gaikwad because when the opposition has got 216 means he has to start playing his shots from the word go. It’s not going to be easy for him. If the opposition had got 160-170, then, by all means, send in Ruturaj so he can maybe play himself in.

“But coming into bat after 5 wickets is like he had decided this match is not going to be won. And that’s no way to approach any target. You got to go in with the belief you will be able to win it,” Gavaskar said.

Also read: IPL 2020: CSK skipper MS Dhoni explains why he did not promote himself up the order