“MS was desperate, it could have been strategic” – Sanjay Manjrekar on CSK’s captain halting the game during Qualifier 1 against GT.

Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar recently commented on a controversial incident that occurred during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 Qualifier 1 match between Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings. MS Dhoni was criticized for pausing the game during the second innings while the team waited for Matheesha Pathirana’s return to the field.

CSK reached the finals by defeating the defending champions, GT, and advancing to the championship match. CSK successfully defended the target of 173 runs by bowling out the Titans for 157 runs in 20 overs. The MS Dhoni-led team ultimately prevailed by a decisive margin of 15 runs in a tense contest between the two teams. However, there was a point in the game when CSK had to wait for Pathirana to return to the field in order to bowl the over.

MS Dhoni was also observed engaging in a serious conversation with the on-field umpires, and the conduct was subsequently criticized by game experts. Many stated that the CSK captain could have utilized another bowler instead of squandering game time.

When queried for his opinion on the matter, Sanjay Manjrekar viewed Dhoni’s actions as an indication of “desperation” in his pursuit of Pathirana’s eligibility.

“We do not know precisely what occurred. He was absent for 9 (four) minutes, and it is unknown whether the time they spent conversing was included. On the field, time is also kept track during actual game action. Perhaps MS (Dhoni) believed it would work in his favor. Today, I felt MS was frantic. He knew that, given Rashid Khan’s play, he had to pass the ball to someone he could trust. Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo that it could be tactical.

Recognizing Pathirana’s value as a specialist in the final few overs, Dhoni desired to use him to fulfill his bowling quota in that crucial over. This incident sparked fascinating discussions that cast light on the tactical decisions captains make when under pressure. Dhoni’s strategic action exemplifies his intelligence and unwavering dedication to improving his team’s possibilities of victory.

Four-time champion CSK will now face the victor of Qualifier 2, which will be contested on May 26 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad between the Gujarat Titans and Mumbai Indians.

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