'Did it at Pune...': MS Dhoni's effect on Ben Stokes revealed by Eoin Morgan, 'He leaves an indelible mark' | Crickit

'Did it at Pune...': MS Dhoni's effect on Ben Stokes revealed by Eoin Morgan, 'He leaves an indelible mark'

Mar 19, 2024 12:49 PM IST

Ben Stokes played two seasons with MS Dhoni at Rising Pune Supergiants and then one more at CSK last year

Among the big names missing from the 2024 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) would be Ben Stokes. The England Test captain, who has been in India for much of this year due to his team's five-Test tour of the country, had announced even before the auction late last year that he will be sitting out the T20 league in a bid to manage his workload.

Stokes has spoken in the past of his admiration for Dhoni(BCCI)
Stokes has spoken in the past of his admiration for Dhoni(BCCI)

Stokes played sporadically last season for CSK who had bought him for 16.25 crore. The all-rounder was plagued by injuries during his time with the five-time IPL champions and he had to undergo surgery for the same after the 2023 World Cup later that year. It had even affected him during the recently concluded Test series in India, with Stokes playing as a specialist batter for much of it. He finally took the ball for the first time since June last year for the final Test, bowling five overs and even dismissing India captain Rohit Sharma, who had scored 103 by then, with his very first ball of the spell.

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The spell with CSK last year was not Stokes's first with MS Dhoni, with the pair having shared a dressing room for two seasons with the Rising Pune Supergiants. Former England captain Eoin Morgan, under whom Stokes had won the 2019 World Cup, said that the latter and the rest of the England players who played under Dhoni had nothing but praise for the talismanic CSK captain.

“Ben Stokes, who has an incredible amount of self-belief, loved playing under MS Dhoni. He did it at Pune for a couple of years and obviously shared the dressing room with him last year. They absolutely love wearing that yellow shirt,” said Morgan on Jio Cinema.

"They absolutely love it, to be honest. They talk about the same characteristics. When you’re talking about being led brilliantly, you always say, ‘Will the team follow him?’ When it's MS Dhoni, you never question that. He leaves an indelible mark on every player. He instils the belief that they have the ability to go out and play with the pride that’s associated with CSK, and lets them know that everybody is backing them.

'Something to behold'

Stokes himself has been praised on numerous occassions for effect he has had on the England Test team since he took over as captain and former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum became head coach. The all-rounder has admitted in the recent past that he has often tried to emulate the way Dhoni and CSK head coach Stephen Fleming work with each other.

"I think they both have an incredible understanding of that. But one thing me and Baz always try to do, and what MS and Flem do is whatever decision they make around selection or whatever decision they have to make very quickly, it's always based around what's best for the team. That's something me and Baz always try and live by when we make decisions," he had said.

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