IPL 2020: ‘You spoke about it, that’s how I got to know,’ MS Dhoni on landmark feat of 200 IPL matches
Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni created history on Monday becoming the first player to play 200 IPL matches. Dhoni’s record was officially confirmed when he took the field against Rajasthan Royals in Match 37 of IPL 2020 in Abu Dhabi. Dhoni was there when it all started in 2008. In fact, he is the only ‘franchise player’ from the first edition who is still captain of the same side.
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When Danny Morrison called Dhoni the ‘Old Buttler’ at the toss and asked him how it felt to get to a landmark where no other cricket has reached, Dhoni came up with a reply only he is capable of.
“You spoke about it and that’s how I got to know (referring to his 200th IPL game). It feels good but at the same time it’s just a number. I feel fortunate to play for such a long time without many injuries,” Dhoni said.
Dhoni has been at the forefront of CSK’s success. Barring the 2009 edition, CSK have reached the IPL playoffs every season they have played. In 2010, CSK lifted their first IPL title and repeated the feat the following year in 2011, the year Dhoni also led India to their first World Cup win after 28 years. However, their most emotional win came in 2018, when following a two-year-ban CSK defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final to lift a third IPL crown.
Needing to stay alive, both CSK and RR made changes to the Playing XI. Dhoni informed that Dwayne Bravo, who walked off injured in the previous match has been replaced by Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, while Piyush Chawla came in for Karn Sharma. “We will bat first. It is a used wicket and chances are it may slow down as the game progresses, that’s been the trend and the reason we want to put runs on the board,” he said.
He (Bravo) won’t be available for the next few games. I think injuries are not only our concern but for quite a few other franchises as well, one of the reasons being because the players have not played competitive cricket for a long time.”
RR captain Steve Smith made one change to his Playing XI from the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, leaving out left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat and replacing him with Ankit Rajput. Unadkat had conceded 25 runs in the penultimate over against RCB, in which AB de Villiers hit him for three sixes, and in single-handedly tilted the match in RCB’s favour.
“The equation is pretty simple for us we need to keep winning, hopefully we can start tonight. We have to bowl first, restrict them and chase it down. We will see how we go (about his batting position). I found a bit of rhythm the other day which was nice and hopefully can carry on. We have got one change - Rajpoot comes in for Unadkat,” Smith said.