Mahendra Singh Dhoni has not played for India since their semi-final loss in the ICC ODI World Cup in 2019. There was speculation that he would play the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2020 and then retire from international cricket.
With the T20 World Cup being postponed, no one knows if and when MS Dhoni will play for India again. However, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are confident that Dhoni will be a part of their franchise till 2022.
CSK CEO Backs Dhoni Till 2022
To say that MS Dhoni and CSK have a strong bond would be an understatement. Dhoni has captained CSK from the start of the IPL and will continue to lead them in the UAE. CSK have backed MS Dhoni big time and he has delivered for the franchise, leading them to three IPL championships and making it to eight IPL finals. CSK also have the best win percentage amongst all IPL teams at 61.28.
Kasi Viswanathan, CEO for CSK told the media this week that the franchise had full confidence in the abilities of MS Dhoni and do not have any concerns about his leadership or ability to deliver with the bat and gloves. Viswanathan confirmed that Dhoni will definitely be a part of the 2021 season and will most likely also feature in 2022.
He also went on record to say that in 2030, don’t be surprised if you find that MS Dhoni as the boss of the CSK franchise. These remarks show us just how much confidence and trust CSK has on MS Dhoni and why Dhoni has preferred to stay with CSK all these years.
However, there is no statement from MS Dhoni regarding his international future or his IPL plans. Dhoni will definitely have to field questions from the media during the IPL about his future plans but reporters will also expect him to deflect those questions as he has for the last couple of years.
CSK Will Take 10 Local Bowlers To The UAE
Viswanathan confirmed that CSK will run a mini camp in Chennai from August 16 to 20. The camp will take place at the MA Chidambaram stadium and should feature the likes of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina who are expected to arrive by August 14. However, there is speculation as to whether R Jadeja will join the camp in Chennai or directly fly to the UAE.
Once the camp is done, players will fly out to the UAE and will make their base in Dubai. CSK wants to take as many as 10 net bowlers with them to the UAE but those plans are yet to be finalized.
CSK wants to take a bunch of first class bowlers from the U-23 and U-19 levels to bowl to their players and give them as much net practice as they can. The IPL governing body has not imposed any restrictions on each IPL contingent and hence CSK is pushing to take additional net bowlers. Viswanathan wants these 8 to 10 net bowlers to remain with the team throughout the duration of the 2020 IPL. These net bowlers will include a lot of wrist spinners and left arm spinners as the tracks in the UAE are conducive to spin.
In the past, each IPL franchise would call on local bowlers to give their batsmen extra match practice. However, with the bio-security bubble in the UAE, it is going to be difficult for each IPL franchise to get local bowlers on a daily basis. This is why CSK and the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are keen on taking their own net bowlers with them to the UAE.