Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CEO Kasi Viswanathan has exuded confidence that MS Dhoni is fit enough to play for another one or two years with the franchise. He believes that the legendary captain doesn't have any reason to retire as of now, for he's adding value to CSK with both his leadership and batting.
Viswanathan's observations come at a time when speculation around MS Dhoni's IPL retirement is rife. The 40-year-old had last year famously remarked that it "definitely wasn't" his last season with CSK. However, fans are still awaiting any such confirmation this time around. Viswanathan told news agency IANS:
"He can continue for another one or two years with CSK. He is fully fit, trains a lot. Don`t see any reason why he should stop. As far we are concerned, we are happy for what he is doing for CSK. It is not just about his captaincy or the fact that he is guide or a leader as the most experienced player. We feel he is still good and brings value as a player to the side. He has been a finisher and is doing that for us.”
Although his returns with the bat have taken a dip in the last couple of years, MS Dhoni's leadership acumen showed no rust in the first half of IPL 2021. CSK ended the first phase as the second-placed side with five wins from seven matches and a season-best net run rate of 1.263.
Question marks remain on MS Dhoni's batting ability
MS Dhoni has mustered only 37 runs from four innings in IPL 2021 so far, fueling the question marks surrounding his batting ability. Although the wicketkeeper-batsman looked out of touch in the beginning, his returns were also highlighted by the proficiency of the CSK middle and lower order.
Consistent opening stands between Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad, a new-found combination of Suresh Raina and Moeen Ali in the middle order and a firing all-rounder brigade made sure that CSK didn't miss MS Dhoni the batsman.
However, the tournament's return to the UAE, where both the franchise and MS Dhoni had their worst seasons in 2020, will bring a new dynamic to the fore. It will be interesting to see how the three-time-champions and their charismatic leader tackle the second phase of IPL 2021.