Mahendra Singh Dhoni sat out of Chennai Super Kings’ game against Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League on Friday, reportedly down with a fever. CSK also had to cope up without the likes of Faf du Plessis and Ravindra Jadeja as Mitchell Santner, Murali Vijay and Dhruv Shorey made way into the team.
Though this was only the second IPL game Dhoni missed this year – the first one being against Sunrisers Hyderabad because of a back spasm – it made a significant difference in the end. With Suresh Raina leading the side, CSK slumped to their first home defeat of the season after failing to chase down a stiff 156-run target set by MI.
Although CSK continued to lead the IPL standing after their fourth loss of the season, their over-dependence on Dhoni was exposed once again. Rohit Sharma, the opposing captain, touched upon that in the post-match presentation as well.
“It was a massive boost that MSD [Dhoni] wasn’t around. Because his presence does a lot for their team. When you don’t have Dhoni when they’re chasing the score, then it becomes difficult for them,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“I’m sure his presence was missed by CSK. But he was sick, it’s not in his control either,” added the right-handed batsman, who struck 67, his first fifty of the season.
Here’s a selection of reactions on Twitter for CSK missing Dhoni:
There were also some users who poked fun at Ambati Rayudu, after the Hyderabad batsman donned the wicket-keeping role in the absence of Dhoni.