IPL 2024: Dhoni allowed to come in as late as No. 8 with ‘Impact Player’ rule, says Hussey


Chennai Super Kings batting coach Michael Hussey said that the ‘Impact Player’ rule has lengthened its batting order, allowing former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to come in as late as number eight during this IPL.

The ‘Impact Player’ rule, introduced from 2023 edition, allows each franchise to name five substitutes, one of whom could come on as a substitute during the course of the match.

Playing against Gujarat Titans here on Tuesday, CSK managed to post a match-winning total of 206 for six.

However, with seven batters coming out to bat, there were no signs of Dhoni coming in even as his fans got a bit impatient.

“It’s definitely been a directive from head coach (Stephen) Fleming to keep pushing the game forward. The ‘Impact Player’ has lengthened the batting order, with MSD at number eight, which is crazy, and he is batting well (in the nets) at the moment,” Hussey told reporters during the post-game media interaction.

ALSO READ | Hussey hails Rachin Ravindra for making fast start to IPL career

“Because of this, the batters up the order can take the positive (attacking) route. They certainly have the backing from the coaches and the captain. Even if they get out doing so, it’s fine, and they won’t be criticised. We want to keep playing fast.”

It was two in two for new CSK skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad, replacing Dhoni, while Hussey termed him a ‘cricket-savvy guy’.

“Rutu is fantastic and very well-prepared. He, along with Fleming and MSD get together to talk tactics before the game,” he reckoned.

“But, the way he changes the field, he has a clear mindset, and the message to the bowlers is also clear. He does have some good support around him, but he is a smart and cricket-savvy guy who understands the game well, and he’s got a good team to work with as well.”

One of the players being talked about for CSK was Sameer Rizvi, who struck ace GT spinner Rashid Khan for two sixes, and Hussey was all-praise for his natural hitting ability.

“He’s got some natural hitting ability, especially against the spinners. He can hit a long way and is very clean. But it’s still a big task for him to come out and hit arguably the best T20 bowler for a six off the first ball,” he attested.

Promoting a rookie ahead of Dhoni was “masterstroke” according to Hussey.

“It was a masterstroke from the think-tank as well, as we were expecting MSD to come out and play the last few balls. But, they realised Rizvi’s got some natural power against spin, and he delivered. The crowd loved it too.”


Leave a Comment