Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim feels that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni can go all guns blazing in the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), since he doesn’t have to worry about performing well to earn a berth in the Indian team.
The former India captain announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15th this year, after having last played in India colours in last year’s World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand. Even though it’s been more than a year, MS Dhoni has looked in very good shape in the practice sessions.
“He is very fit and I believe he is working very hard. Plus, he has stopped playing international cricket so there will be less burden on his body... Global Cricket still needs an icon like MS Dhoni to continue,” Karim said in an interview with AFP.
MS Dhoni made headlines in the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008 when CSK snapped him up for a record USD 1.5 million. The inception of the IPL happened just a year after MS Dhoni led a young Indian team to win the maiden World T20 in South Africa.
MS Dhoni played an instrumental role in kickstarting the IPL: Saba Karim
Karim, who has also been a national selector, said that MS Dhoni made the shorter version of the game an instant hit with his aggressive style of batting.
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“Dhoni played an instrumental role in kickstarting the IPL because of the way he brought a different dimension to the shorter format of the game with his aggressive style with the willow... And also with his calm exterior behind the stumps,” Karim, who has played one Test and 34 ODIs, added.
Indeed, MS Dhoni has grown into becoming the father figure of the IPL and Tamil Nadu’s favourite son. He has led CSK to three IPL triumphs (2010, 2011, and 2018), while finishing runners-up on five occasions (2008, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2019).
MS Dhoni has led from the front with the bat, as well. In 190 IPL matches, he has scored 4,432 runs at a staggering average of 42.21. He has remained not out in 65 of the matches, meaning that he has seen his team over the line in more than 30 percent of matches.
Published 15 Sep 2020, 14:05 IST