New Delhi, May 18: Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has criticised Rising Pune Supergiants' captain MS Dhoni for not handling 'world-class bowler' Irfan Pathan in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) well.
In an article, Gavaskar - who is generally an admirer of MS Dhoni's captaincy skills and his batting - felt India's limited-overs' captain has not done justice to his bating skills and his handling of a "world-class bowler" like Irfan Pathan in the ninth edition of the cash-rich league.
In his column Gavaskar analysed some of the reasons for Pune Supergiants disappointing show in its first IPL outing. RPS are placed at 7th position in the eight-team league.
RPS were listless even before the team was rocked by a series of injuries to their key players - Kevin Pietersen, Steven Smith and Faf du Plessis - Gavaskar opined.
"True, they had a major setback with injuries, but even before that, there didn't seem to be the zing that one usually associates with a team led by MS Dhoni," Gavaskar wrote.
Gavaskar has consistently maintained that MS Dhoni should promote himself up in the batting order to lead his side from the front but the skipper's batting has been a forgettable one.
"The skipper (Dhoni) has been out of sorts with the bat and so he has not been able to transform the game with his big hitting as he has done umpteen times in the past," said Gavaskar.
Gavaskar even went to extent of holding Dhoni responsible for Pune's 9 defeats in 13 games. This has been MS Dhoni's worst season in the IPL as skipper too as its the first time when his team is not the race to play-offs.
"Dhoni's reluctance to come up the order in crucial times has cost the team matches that they should have won," wrote Gavaskar.
Dhoni's strike rate of 36.36 in his 8-run knock of 22 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders is the lowest in any IPL innings of over 20 balls.
Gavaskar wondered why Dhoni chose to underuse an all-rounder like Irfan Pathan. He even sniffed an "issue" between the two and said Dhoni's tactics have "raised eyebrows galore."
"Even when Irfan Pathan was part of the Chennai Super Kings last season, he hardly got a look in and the same is happening here in the RPS team," added Gavaskar.