In a recent post-match interview, MS Dhoni, after leading Chennai Super Kings (CSK) into the IPL final, addressed questions about his future with the team. Despite a successful season finale at Chepauk, Dhoni remained non-committal about his return next year, stating that he had eight to nine months to make a decision. While acknowledging the toll it had taken on him, Dhoni hinted at the upcoming small auction in December and emphasized that he had ample time to contemplate his future with the franchise.
“I don’t know, I have eight to nine months to decide, the small auction may be around December, so why take that headache right now?” Dhoni said after CSK’s win against Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 1. “I have ample time to decide.”
Throughout the season, Dhoni had been struggling with a knee issue, often seen wearing a brace after matches. Although he managed to play every game, his running between the wickets was affected. However, Dhoni assured fans that he would always be there for CSK, whether as a player or in a different capacity. He highlighted the challenges of being away from home for four months and expressed the need for careful consideration when making such decisions.
“I will always be there for CSK, whether that is in the playing form or sitting somewhere outside…I don’t really know. Frankly, it takes a heavy toll. I have been out of home for literally four months. January 31 was when I got out of the house, finished my work, and started practicing from 2nd or 3rd of March. It takes a lot, but I have ample time to decide.”
CSK, now on their way to their tenth IPL final in 14 seasons, will be traveling from Chennai to Ahmedabad for the much-anticipated showdown. Dhoni dismissed the notion that the final was just another game, acknowledging the significance of the IPL and the increasing level of competition with fewer teams. He praised the character displayed by the team throughout the season and credited everyone’s contribution, despite the limited opportunities for the middle-order batsmen.
In Qualifier 1, CSK scored a commendable 172 runs after losing the toss on a challenging batting pitch. Dhoni, known for his captaincy prowess, showcased his strategic skills by effectively marshaling his bowlers and making precise field placements to thwart the opposition’s chase. He humorously described himself as an “annoying captain” who constantly adjusted the field, urging the fielders to keep an eye on him. Dhoni’s intuition and understanding of the pitch conditions have proven fruitful in the past, and he emphasized the importance of the fielders’ attentiveness during crucial moments.