It is only human to make an error and MS Dhoni erred in abundance in IPL 2020.
Dhoni has been the epicenter to all the success which made Chennai Super Kings one of the most consistent sides in the IPL. He also owes a big hand in their debacle this season.
Where did Dhoni go wrong? At a number of places. He had more misses than hits this season. While one can understand that his batting form saw a dip since the 2019 World Cup, his captaincy hasn't helped either.
Dhoni's reading of the game is second to none. He makes the right calls for Decision Review System (DRS) on most occasions but this year was different. His body language is not in his favour either. And he might understand that in hindsight that he has only himself to blame for some youngsters not showing spark. Such is the case with Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Gaikwad seals his spot as an opener
Pune-born Gaikwad is known for his free stroke-making ability. He did it with ease as he swept Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins on a couple of occasions before giving away his wicket to him in the same manner.
He made a tumultuous start to IPL 2020 but ensured to book his place as an opener. The third highest run-scorer in the 2016-17 Vijay Hazare Trophy contracted Covid-19 ahead of the tournament. Although, he recovered in time and was picked up in the playing eleven, Dhoni asked him to bat down the order.
He failed. He failed to show spark or his natural ability. He was benched. CSK tried different combinations at the top - Shane Watson with Faf du Plessis, Sam Curran with du Plessis, while this young gun player was warming the bench.
It took time and Gaikwad was finally allowed to bat at his natural position and he has already hit two half-centuries as an opener. He depicted a sense of confidence in his free-flowing knock with a bit of Kane Williamson in his calm and composed approach.
His match-winning knock of 72 runs off 53 deliveries which was laced with six boundaries and two hits over the fence guided CSK to a six-wicket victory and nearly ended the playoffs hope for KKR.
But Dhoni, speaking during the post-match presentation, said that it was difficult to gauge the talent of Gaikwad as 'he's not somebody who speaks a lot'. Is he not the captain who once used to understand his players?
"Ruturaj we'd seen him in the nets, but then he got Covid positive and took 20 days. Unfortunate but he'll remember this season. He's one of the most talented players going around," Dhoni said.
"What makes it difficult is he's not somebody who speaks a lot!"
However at the end of day, what matters is Gaikwad found his mojo, and CSK have a long-time opener who is full of spark.