Gavaskar shreds MI for giving MS Dhoni 'beneficiary' treatment: 'They thought it's MSD's last game in Mumbai so…' | Crickit
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Gavaskar shreds MI for giving MS Dhoni 'beneficiary' treatment: 'They thought it's MSD's last game in Mumbai so…'

Apr 16, 2024 06:48 PM IST

Sunil Gavaskar questioned Mumbai Indians, especially their lack of intensity while bowling to MS Dhoni.

If the IPL 2024 encounter against Mumbai Indians was MS Dhoni's last match at the Wankhede Stadium, what a way it was to go out. At a venue where Dhoni achieved the greatest moment of his cricket – winning the World Cup – 13 years ago, MSD played a knock reminiscent of his days or yore. Walking out to bat in the over of Chennai Super Kings' innings, Dhoni clubbed MI captain Hardik Pandya for a hat-trick of sixes to end up with a cameo of 20 not out in four balls. And as it turned out, Dhoni's knock is what proved to be the difference in the end, as MI fell exactly 20 runs short of CSK's total of 206/4.

Sunil Gavaskar was not happy with how Mumbai Indians treated MS Dhoni. (Getty-AFP)
Sunil Gavaskar was not happy with how Mumbai Indians treated MS Dhoni. (Getty-AFP)

But while the world enjoyed Dhoni's blitzkrieg, including the Mumbai faithful present at the Wankhede, the legendary Sunil Gavaskar had mixed feelings about it. Gavaskar, like the countless others, thoroughly relished watching Dhoni turn back the clock, he was miffed with MI for gifting the CSK great pleasantries. In fact, the former India captain was so upset that he accused Mumbai Indians of giving Dhoni the 'beneficiary' treatment. Don't know what that is? Read the following statement from Gavaskar.

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"Well so I'm pretty certain the Mumbai Indians would have also seen what he was practicing, and so they decided this might be his last game here in Mumbai, so let's also go in the same way, so he can delight the Mumbai crowd. Listen, I'm not going to get over this, I'm not… like all Indians, I'm a fan of him, and I wanted to see him hit a six, but not three back-to-back sixes," Gavaskar said on Star Sports.

"This is all length delivery, it's almost like I said, like a benefit match, you know, there's a beneficiary, and you want to make sure that the beneficiary succeeds in his benefit match, doesn't get out first ball, and that's the kind of bowling that was it."

MS Dhoni and Wankhede, a story made in heaven

Due to this, a fuming Gavaskar had lashed out at Hardik, terming his captaincy and bowling 'absolutely ordinary'. MI could have restricted CSK to under 200 had Hardik Pandya been a little more disciplined with his bowling. As Gavaskar explained, Hardik not only erred in his length, but committed the grave error of gifting a batter like Dhoni length balls. The first ball was in the slot allowing Dhoni to free his arms and throw the proverbial kitchen-sink at it – a shot that drew comparisons with Dhoni's World Cup-winning six off Nuwan Kulasekara.

The next ball was another one in the pocket as Dhoni sent the ball over cow corner. Trying to pull his length back, Hardik tried a little too much and ended up delivering a full toss on Dhoni's pads. The CSK captain, who had enough time, swung his bat with brute force, capping off a hat-trick of sixes. It was almost 2011 all over again as Dhoni and his love affair of hitting sixes at the Wankhede penned a fresh chapter.

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