IPL 2024: 'Would he like to bat higher...", says Brian Lara after Dhoni's 9-ball 28

Mumbai, Apr 20 (IANS): West Indies legend Brian Lara has noted that former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is coming to bat at No 7-8 position for Chennai Super Kings but does not like to bat higher to give younger players opportunities to excel at the top.

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports Cricket Live, Lara shared his thoughts on MS Dhoni's batting against Lucknow Super Giants after the former CSK captain hammered a 9-ball unbeaten 28 to help his team reach 176/6 in 20 overs at the Ekana Stadium on Friday night.

However, CSK ended on the losing side despite Dhoni's cameo as K.L. Rahul (82) and Quinton de Kock (54) shared a 134-run opening partnership to guide LSG to an eight-wicket victory.

Lara said Dhoni's knock was just brilliant. ”It's just brilliant. The question has to be asked would you like to bat higher? Because I can see he's making valuable contributions. But there are a couple of losing causes as well. So, I think that should be a consideration," he said.

"At 42, he's most likely thinking from the team's point of view, that the young guys got to do the job. But I think the middle of the innings told a little bit too much about CSK's batting. And it created the fact that even though he exploded at the end and he did that Dhoni thing at the end and it still was not enough," said Lara.

The West Indies legend said that CSK will have to go to the drawing board to little bit more aggressive throughout the innings.

"So, I think they will have to go back to the drawing board. And realize that they need to be a little bit more aggressive throughout the innings. Because at the back end, you've got the man to come. And if he gets two-three overs, as he did against Mumbai Indians. And propelled them above 200. They need to think about that all the time," he said.

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports Cricket Live, Lara shared his thoughts on moments when Dhoni comes to bat and the support he gathers around his presence during any CSK match.

"That's the terrific part of the game. I've said it over and over again, when you have a guy aged 42, a legend, an icon in the game, someone who has played in the IPL for so many years and you don't know when he's going to say, hey, that's it. He comes out to bat and I think it's just a moment to savour and everyone is just going to feel amazing about this. It's going to be a lot of emotions, but then he walks out and does the business.

"And at 42, you are thinking, well, let's strategize. We need to put this man at a certain place to ensure that we can win matches because he's going out there, he is putting runs on the board and maybe on the back of some poor batting or partnerships.

"So right now he's in a predicament because he most likely loves what he's doing. He is 42 and he has the gloves in his hands. He is batting at seven or eight and he's making his own contributions in five or 10 balls he faced. He may not have to look and say, listen, I may have to go up the order because I may need a little bit more runs. He has batted five, or six times now and remained unbeaten. So, any team strategizing would say, well, obviously you have to go up. But I don't think he will," Lara told Star Sports.

Lara also praised Dhoni for his fitness and running between the wickets.

"He's still doing it today and let's make sure that he's on the park for all the matches in this IPL for CSK. But yeah, running between the wickets where he is aware of the situation and aware that the matchup for him is just the correct matchup. And it just looked like when you look at the counter, there's two umpires, 11 fielders, and a bowler, and then there's these fans, and they all just look like spectators when he's striking the ball. Fielders diving to his left, he can't get it, fielders looking his head, he can't get it. It's just his show. He's just scripted it so well," said Lara.



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Title: IPL 2024: 'Would he like to bat higher...", says Brian Lara after Dhoni's 9-ball 28

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