After becoming the first player to appear in 200 games for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), MS Dhoni said that he has had a long and eventful journey.
In his 200th game for the franchise at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, where MS Dhoni won India the 2011 World Cup final, CSK opened their account in their IPL 2021 campaign, courtesy of a match-winning four-wicket haul from Deepak Chahar.
In the post-match presentation, MS Dhoni said that he has played for CSK in many venues across countries over the years. But he expressed surprise that Mumbai turned out to be his new 'home', saying in this regard at the post-match presentation ceremony:
“Makes me feel very old, and it has been a very long journey (on playing 200 matches for CSK). It started in 2008 - played in SA, Dubai, and back home. Never thought Mumbai would be our home".
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no team is playing at home in IPL 2021. CSK are playing their first few games of the tournament in Mumbai. MS Dhoni praised the Mumbai wicket while expressing his unhappiness over the Chennai one over the years.
“In 2011, the last time we were happy with the Chennai wicket. Before that, there was spin, but it also helped fast bowlers. After the wicket was relaid, we found it difficult to adjust to conditions. This (Wankhede Stadium) is a very good wicket, but it depends on the conditions on that day,” MS Dhoni added.
MS Dhoni - an IPL and CSK stalwart
MS Dhoni broke the million-dollar barrier when CSK bagged the Indian captain in the inaugural IPL auction in 2008. After winning the first-ever T20 World Cup and then the tri-series in Australia, MS Dhoni became the automatic choice to lead the franchise.
MS Dhoni played his first game for CSK against Kings XI Punjab (now called Punjab Kings) on April 19, 2008. In an interesting coincidence, MS Dhoni played his 200th match for the franchise against the same team 13 years later.
MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina are the only current CSK players to have featured in that 2008 game.
Over the past 13 seasons, Dhoni has played 206 IPL matches, scoring 4,632 runs at an average of 40.63 while striking at almost 137. The 39-year-old has led the team to three IPL and two Champions League T20 titles.