Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has expressed his surprise at getting to watch MS Dhoni practising his wicket-keeping in the CSK nets in the UAE. He mentioned that he never saw the CSK captain do that over the many years he played with him.
While speaking to Star Sports, Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar expressed their views on the recent visuals of MS Dhoni from the UAE in which he is seen being cheered by his fans and also honing his wicket-keeping skills at the nets.
On being asked about MS Dhoni's fans cheering wildly for him when he was boarding the team bus after his practice session, Ajit Agarkar mentioned that these are some positive pictures for CSK after the recent setbacks of losing Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh.
"Absolutely, this had to happen. And these are good visuals because there have been some disruption in Chennai Super Kings after the withdrawal of two players with Suresh Raina coming back and Harbhajan Singh not playing."
Ajit Agarkar expressed happiness at CSK having started their training stints in the UAE, with fans following MS Dhoni despite the restrictions due to COVID-19.
"So, it is a good news that practice has started and it is not a surprise that fans have reached there to see MS Dhoni. This is happening for so many years and it is not a shock that it is happening now also. COVID is there but still fans have reached there to watch MS Dhoni."
"It is a great news that CSK have started practising, a little later from other teams but there is still time for the tournament to start."
Irfan Pathan on MS Dhoni honing his wicket-keeping skills in the CSK nets
Irfan Pathan observed that MS Dhoni being seen practising his wicket-keeping in the CSK nets before IPL 2020 comes as a surprise. The all-rounder said that he never saw Captain Cool do the same in their long association on the cricket field.
"We have seen a new visual where we have seen MS Dhoni keeping the wickets. This never happens, this is something new for me because I have played cricket for so many years with him, whether it is for the Indian team or in the league with CSK, I have never seen him keeping wickets."
He opined that this could be because MS Dhoni is returning to competitive cricket after a long absence, or even because he could be judging the new bowlers in the nets.
"So this is because he has not played cricket for a long time. I guess there was some leg-spinner bowling, so he may be trying to check the new bowlers but it is good to see that he is doing keeping during practice."
With uncertainty over Suresh Raina's participation in IPL 2020, the onus would be on MS Dhoni to carry the CSK batting lineup on his shoulders. With the CSK captain returning on the cricket field after a long hiatus, he would be trying to get into the groove as soon as possible.
Published 07 Sep 2020, 14:34 IST